Another very true fact about the wisdom of words is that sometimes the wisest thing to say is nothing at all. ‘‘In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19) Abraham Lincoln once said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” I can recall a few instances in which I wish I had followed his advice! Blessed is she who knows when and how to be quiet.
The final portion of our text says, “In her tongue is the law of kindness .” Let’s make some observations about the meaning of a law.
First of all, when there is a law, a standard is set by which to make judgments. If a road has no signs that determine safe speed, then one person might decide it should be 25 miles per hour and another decide on 50 miles per hour. However, if there is a clear sign posted that says 40 miles per hour, then everyone can regulate their speed according to that standard.
When a lady will allow kindness to be her standard, her speech will be regulated accordingly. When something is said that is unkind, it will be immediately identified as unacceptable to God, because it fails to meet the godly standard by which it is measured.
A law also connotates control or rulership. Paul said in Romans 7 that the law of sin was in his body. It controlled his inclinations and responses to a very great extent. It caused his instinctive desires to be evil.
If the law of kindness is in effect upon a persons’ tongue, then it will control her immediate responses and inclinations to a high degree. The natural response to most every situation will be a kind one. She will search out the kindest way in which to say the things that must be said which could otherwise be harsh and hurtful. So many of us are ruled by our own selfish interests where our tongue is concerned. The speech of the virtuous woman is regulated constantly by the law of kindness.
A law also determines guilt or innocence. Someone who is driving the speed limit will not be disturbed at the sight of a highway patrol car, and may not seem to notice at all. Watch someone who, is driving at 10 to 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit – they will be jumping on the brakes at the sight of every car that is white or has a luggage rack on top! The law says they are guilty and they know it.
The law of kindness in effect upon our speech will bring that uneasy, uncomfortable feeling of guilt when we have said something that is not kind. The law of kindness will drive us to make apology or restitution not just for the satisfaction of the other person, but for our own peace of heart.
The law of kindness… is it in effect in our lives as Christian ladies? Does kindness set the standard for what you allow yourself to say, or do you find your words are often caustic and sharp? Does it control your responses and conversations, or do you find that your automatic reactions in most situations are less than loving?
Does the law of kindness point out unsatisfactory statements and cause you to apologize and try to do better, or do you reckon yourself to be justified in your unkind remarks? For ladies who seek to please the Lord, this is a vital area in which we can learn and improve.
I constantly find that I need to pray as David , ‘Set a watch, 0 Lord, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips.“ (Psalm 141:3) If I allow the LORD to be the watchman and doorkeeper that approves everything which passes the door of my lips, and warns of the dangerous words which may try to slip through, I will someday be able to meet the Lord with a conscience void of offense. I will worry much less about the fact that I must someday give account to Him for ‘every idle word’. Resolve with me today that we will begin anew to Jet God’s standard of kindness, truth, and Christ-likeness e xamine every statement that passes our lips, and be willing to Jet our conversations be adjusted to please the Lord.
I know that I can only be truly at peace in my relationship with the Lord if I allow the example of this ideal woman to govern my relationship with others. Lord, help us to learn from Proverbs 31 this important truth concerning our speech • The Law Of Kindness.