Father, of Abraham, James says that “his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did”. I pray that my life and faith would work the same way. I understand that my actions will not alone, save me. That salvation comes by believing in You and accepting You as Lord of my life. But I can also see that my actions bear out what I believe. And since actions are what others can see, others will know my faith by my actions.
In addition to my actions, my words speak a lot about who I am and what I believe. Father, set a guard on my tongue! I have learned by experience that words cannot be unsaid. Once spoken, their impact is made. Father, forgive me for the times I have spoken without thinking, and in doing so, caused hurt to someone. Forgive me for the times I spoke after thinking, but was wrong in the way the message was delivered. For it is not only the words chosen, but also the way they are spoken that carries meaning and can cause trouble.
Words can tear down, damage, hurt, berate, mislead, manipulate, and deceive a person. But they can also lift up, encourage, enlighten, and show love. Father, give me wisdom in when and how to use my words. Help me see through the ‘wisdom’ of the world. Before I speak or act, let me think through to see the results of my following the ‘wisdom’ I am hearing.
The wisdom of the world can come from my own flesh: a kind of ‘sensual wisdom’ based on my own thoughts and feelings. It will produce self-satisfaction and pride, and ultimately, guilt – as James tells me my own desires can lead to sin. Or it can come from others in the world, leading to approval and acceptance from the crowd. It produces disorder, and You have told me I should not be conformed to the pattern of this world. Or it may be demonic wisdom that brings envy, immorality and leads me to worship other things, eventually producing fear.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” This wisdom produces the Fruit of the Spirit in me.
Father, help me listen, and discern Your wisdom from all the others. I desire to hear from and follow You alone. Amen