My mom is gone now. We lost her after a long battle with dementia. Even though I had her for 83 years, oh how I wish she was still here. My mom was a simple woman. She was not college educated, she had wisdom. I don’t know that I have ever met another woman that was as wise as she was. She was a peace maker. Her life song was “Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace – The Prayer to St. Francis”. And she was wise. She was a woman of not a lot of words and never a word of gossip. She lived to build you up. She always saw the best in everyone. And lived her days as if in every person she met… she was entertaining angels.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” Hebrews 13:2
She loved only one man – my dad – her entire life and was his wife for 63 years. She was a wise Godly woman. She did not have an agenda. She had no ulterior motives. What she had was life that was so focused on serving God and living His Word, that everything in her life was blessed.
Did she get angry? Sure she did. Did she get frustrated? Yup! Did ever a foul curse word come from her mouth? Never. Did she ever talk bad about my dad to others? Even to her closest girlfriends? Never. Did we, her four children, give her cause to get angry, get frustrated, and even talk bad about us… we sure did. But did she? No. There is a reason that hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people came to bid this simple little woman her final farewell.
You see my mom knew what I am still trying to figure out after all these years. She knew and lived Proverbs 14:1
“A wise woman builds her but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands”
I am sad to say that I have done more damage with my smart mouth than I care to admit. It makes me sad. I wish I could figure out why I do it and how to stop it. Yes, you say… just don’t do it. If only that were true.
In her book, “Keep It Shut”, author Karen Ehman says, “Words don’t just tumble out of my mouth randomly or by mistake. They are purposeful and intentional, having originated in my heart. So, if we have a mouth problem, in actuality what we really have is a heart and mind problem. (Keep It Shut – page 17). Now that is a wise woman!
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 23 – 24
I think that it’s true that I don’t have a mouth problem. It’s not like the words come out all by themselves. Of course I can control them. So why don’t I? Why do I say the things that I do? Sometimes the hurtful things that I say… Yikes! So what is it in my heart that is allowing these words to be birthed? I think that could take years to fully determine.
My hearts has been around for a while. 58 years to be exact – give or take nine months. I gave my heart freely to my former husband for 20+ years. And then in an instant, too much crazy headed our way (something I will share when the time is right) and our hearts spun apart. It was not his fault, it was not my fault. Forces and pressure outside of our marriage split us apart in a way that could not be repaired – though not for lack of trying. (for the record, the issues I speak of here are not of abuse or infidelity) In the end, words were said that couldn’t be taken back. Hurt hearts say hurtful words.
It’s been a good number of years since all of that. But I can tell you word for word, who said what, where we were, what was said by whom to whom. Words… once they are spoken can never be taken back.
I think that the betrayal of love that I experienced all those years ago, still lingers in my brain and in my heart. I wonder sometimes even now, that when the pressures and outside forces come calling if I’ll hear similar ugly words again? Perhaps it’s a fear that it will happen, so instead I’m going to get him with my words, before he can get me with his words? I don’t know about that.
But what I do know is that I want to be a wise Godly woman. Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit”. I don’t want to crush any more spirits.
So… what is the path to becoming a wise Godly woman?
Soak in His wisdom. Proverbs 1:1 “… for attaining wisdom and discipline, for understanding words of insight, for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life doing what is right and just and fair.”
Read Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs is just that. It is a book of Wisdom inspired by God. What better place to start. Just a note… there are 30-31 days in a month. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs. I can see the correlation.
Store up His wisdom. Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Do not just read His words of wisdom… put them in your heart. Hold them there. Tend to them. Add to them. His words of wisdom and love will push out those ugly words that have taken root in your heart till now.
Ask for His wisdom. Proverbs 2:3-6 “and if you call out for wisdom and cry aloud for understanding… For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
I don’t have my mom to turn to for advice and wisdom. But then I think… where did she get her wisdom? From her heavenly Father. As a child of God, I too can go directly to Him to receive His wisdom.
Develop Wisdom. Proverbs 4:5 “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them” “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Learn from my past. Remember my lack of wisdom in the past. Understand my prior actions. Now, live and go forward with His wisdom planted in my heart. I know I need to stop myself and check what my words are going to be before I open my mouth and let them out. Will my words edify? Are they good for the building up and laced with grace?
Steer clear of those with no wisdom. Proverbs 4:14-15 “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers”.
My mother used to says… “Show me who your friends are, and I will show you your future.” Clearly she understood Proverbs 4:14. There are fools and wicked everywhere. However, sometimes, they are right there in our own family and there isn’t much we can do to physically avoid them. So, what can we do in that case… walk in wisdom.
When we have Soaked in His Wisdom, Stored Up His Wisdom, Asked and Received His Wisdom, and we have begun to Develop Wisdom by learning from our past encounters, THEN we will begin to be a wise woman.
Then we can refuse to allow our words to tear down our house. Then we can refuse to allow evil to take hold of our tongue. Then we don’t have to lie down with vipers. Then we will show the foolish and the evildoers the Fear of the Lord – the reverence, the love, the respect that results in our obedience to Him.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5-8
Remember… 1 Cor 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Walk in the wisdom of the Lord, not in the wisdom of the world. Spiritual wisdom does not look to man’s shifting philosophy or thoughts for truth. Worldly truth and wisdom is fickle and changes as attitudes and mores change. God’s Truth and Wisdom NEVER changes. It is a solid rock that we can anchor to. It is pure and clear and plain. Our God is generous. What He has done for us can never be measured. If we lack wisdom, or any good thing… all we need to do is ask.
My prayer is that I, and all of you, seek and find the wisdom of God and that we will take that wisdom and plant it in our hearts. And that we will nurture and feed and water that wisdom. And just as His Love envelops each of us, let His words permeate every fiber of hearts, minds and mouths. Let us pray that He will be so alive in us that when people look to us, they see only Him.