WHAT PROVOKES A HORRIFIED LOOK?

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“Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.” (Proverbs 25:23 NIV)

A sly tongue provokes a horrified look.

Our tongues have power.   One of Satan’s accomplishments is convincing people words don’t have meaning.  We use words carelessly. What you say affects the people around you.  Just because you don’t realize something doesn’t mean it’s not true.   Words my mother told me long ago still run through my mind.  Because she was my mother, I took her words to heart.  Harmless criticisms become lifelong battles as I decipher what she “really” meant.

Sly words have evil intent.

Webster’s defines sly as: artfully dextrous in performing things secretly…escaping observation or detection; usually implying some degree of meanness; artfully cunning.  In other words, they’re up to something, whatever it is, it ain’t right.  Part of the problem is how difficult detecting slyness is.  Sometimes, people are so artfully cunning; it’s hard to recognize.  Those are the ones who scare me the most.  Paul warns us about sly people.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3 NIV) 

Deceptive people try to lead you away from the truth of Jesus.  

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve fallen for a scam, I could fix the current coin shortage in our country.  Case in point, when my husband and I were first married, a vacuum salesman came to our house.  The $3200 product he brought was incredible.  Only because of my husband, we didn’t buy it.  I was hook, line, and sinker willing to do whatever I had to do to get that vacuum.  My husband was wiser.  For the first time, I had to submit to him, not easy for an independent woman who always got what she wanted. But I did fall a little more in love with him as he quietly stood his ground.  I learned a lot of lessons that night; one was about deception.

Even in that evening long ago, Jesus’ truth is what prevailed.  The only reason I didn’t buy the vacuum anyway is because of this verse:

“Wives, submit to your husbands as you do the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22 NIV)

The truth I knew that evening, I was to submit, which exposed the cunning.  Husbands are to love their wives like Jesus (Eph. 5:25 NIV).  My husband loves me better than anyone in my life ever has.  He is easy for me to submit too.  In the years since then, I’ve learned, he protects me from sly words.

Jesus is truth.  In Him, sly words aren’t horrifying, just exposed.

Question of the Day:

Who uses sly words in your life?

Further Reading: Jeremiah 33-34 NIV, 1 Timothy 4:1-16 NIV, Psalm 89 NIV, Proverbs 25:23-24 NIV

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