The virtuous woman is kind. She does not get involved in idle chatter. Her words carry weight. They are well-thought-out and she has enough sense to say things to build others up. She will not be found gossiping and talking about things that do not matter in eternity.
She practices what she preaches. If she does not know something, she will not speak merely for the purpose of hearing her own voice. She will do her research and have a level of understanding before she opens her mouth to give advice. When she gives advice it is gentle and given with a heart full of love and compassion. She is not self-seeking or arrogant, so she is glad to offer thoughtful words of encouragement. This virtuous woman is not a “know-it-all.”
“If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all”
This is a very old saying but it still rings true. I tell my children these words all of the time. I try to thwart their efforts to share unkind words about each other. I remind them that they should think before they speak. If we take thirty seconds to think before we open our mouths, we would say far less negative things unnecessarily. I used to be impulsive with my mouth. I never thought first.
I used to be the opposite of the virtuous woman’s rule over her tongue. I said the ugliest things. My husband helped me figure out how to temper that tongue. He said if I had to pay a dollar for every word I spoke I would quickly land myself in the poor house. It is only by the grace of God I do not say everything I think. Now I have my thirty-second rule. Most times I say silently to myself, “That is not really necessary to bring up.”
I never want to come across as a “know-it-all” either. That kind of person is irritating to be around. They have the answer to everything, and half the time you feel they are pulling stuff out of the fluff in their imagination. Information without fact to back it up is a like a toothless person trying to take a bite out of an apple. Their words carry no purpose. You roll your eyes when they try to give you sound reason. When a person is accustomed to being a self-proclaimed expert on every topic, if they do finally have some kind of wisdom to impart, it falls on deaf ears. Rather, I want enough sense to think deeply before I speak. I want to have gentle and kind words, making sure I have a pure heart towards others. Not self-seeking or with hidden purpose. The Bible says:
“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent:and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it:but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth,and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul,and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:20-24
The hidden agenda
Why do so many women have this undercurrent going? I have yet to figure it out. Since I do not hold back a lot of what is in my heart from flowing out of my mouth, I find it mind-blowing that some women say one thing but mean something entirely different. What is up with that? I think it is because they do not want to look bad, so they cover up their evil thoughts with a half-hearted smile. They know what you want to hear. They say what your itching ears want to hear. They are two-faced. As soon as they get with someone else, the words start pumping out. And those words are not meant for anyone’s good, especially not their own. Words that are filled with guile are both evil and the opposite of kindness. They seek to ensnare the hearer. Their purpose is not pure.
“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not:for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it;and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.”
Their own words will condemn them. They cannot fool God. I choose to use wisdom when I open my mouth, to encourage others, and embrace the law of kindness.
Portion taken from NEW book Living Virtuously by Erin Harrison
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