Today's Devotional - August 23
David Jeremiah

Guard the Heart

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Proverbs 15:23

Recommended Reading
James 3:1-12

A man spoke a word of untrue gossip to a monk. To teach the man a lesson, the monk told the man to open a feather pillow and go about the village, placing one feather on every doorstep as an act of penance. When the man completed his penance, the monk told him to go and retrieve every feather. "Why, that would be impossible," the man exclaimed. "The wind will have carried them far and wide!" "Let that be a lesson," the monk replied. "Your words are like those feathers. Once spoken, they are impossible to get back."

While human speech has conveyed comfort, beauty, and blessing throughout history, it has also delivered hate, lies, and curses. The apostle James talked about human speech by referring to the tongue as a "fire, a world of iniquity," and "unruly evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:6, 8). The tongue, the fleshly organ, is not to blame, of course. Jesus said it was out of the heart of man that "evil things come"—including words (Mark 7:20-23).

If you would speak a word in due season, a word of beauty and blessing, ask God to give you a heart like the words you want to speak. Guarding the heart is the way to guard the tongue.

The heart is the metal of the bell, the tongue is but the clapper.

George Swinnock

Read-thru-the-Bible
Lamentations 3–5