It’s Women of the Word Wednesday here at Refocused Bible Study! This project is near and dear to my heart. Every Wednesday, a fellow blogger will share with us how the Lord spoke to them through the day’s chapter.
If you are passionate about sharing what the Lord is teaching you through his Word, I want to encourage you to use your passion to build up God’s people. Start with the people in your own home, and then reach outward. His Word is living and active and helpful!
I was so challenged by this guest post from our contributing writer this week, Leah Weber. Her insight on Proverbs chapter 10 is extremely applicable and helpful. Most importantly, she shows us at the end of the post how Jesus modeled listening to people, from the heart. This posts fits in so perfectly with what we have been discussing about wisdom reaching our heart and turning into action. You’re going to love what she has to say! Visit her blog and comment to her below to show a fellow sister some love!
I oftentimes approach reading the Bible like I approach reading a handbook or an instruction manual. I ask myself questions like, “what can I get out of this, how can I be a better person, or what should I do in this situation?.” This can often discourage me when I realize that I can never live up to everything the Bible says I should do. While the Bible is full of wisdom and advice on how we should live our lives, it is not primarily about that. The Bible is about Jesus. Scripture should ultimately point us to the glory of God. I want us to remember that while we look at this passage.
What stood out to me the most about Proverbs 10 are the numerous verses about the tongue and the heart. Verse 20 says:
“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, the heart of the wicked is of little worth.”
I went back and read this verse again and thought that Solomon got it wrong, he should have said the “TONGUE” of the wicked is of little worth, not the heart. But Solomon has a reason for choosing the heart.
Solomon uses the heart instead of the tongue to illustrate how what we say flows out of our hearts. This is also mentioned in Matthew 15:18
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
Our words are more than just meaningless phrases strung together, they are powerful tools that can be used to either uplift or tear down a person. So what is an example of a righteous person who uses words to uplift someone? Solomon says that the righteous, whose tongue is choice silver, flows out of a heart full of worth. What does a heart of worth look like? Let’s look at an earlier verse in chapter 10:8
“The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.”
Again Solomon contrasts the heart with the tongue but in a different context. The wise person is someone who receives commandments. This is someone who is in the Word, listens to advice from others, and accepts reproof with humility. Numerous verses in this chapter (vs 8, 19) say that talking a lot, or babbling, can lead to ruin. This implies that the wise are also good listeners.
As women of the word, we need to become good listeners. Not just women who listen with our minds, but women who listen with our hearts. Instead of contributing to the constant comparison, judgement, and guilt that is so prevalent among women (especially in our mom culture), we need to come alongside each other and truly listen to each other.
Think about a time when you felt truly listened to; what are some words that come to mind? I feel like I’ve been given a gift. I feel heard, known, affirmed, and healed. When we listen like this we foster relationships of trust which not only allows us to encourage one another, but also allows us to speak wisely and truthfully into another person’s life.
So often we can either listen with our mind or our heart. But Jesus did both perfectly. Jesus puts aside cultural differences, misunderstandings, and his own reputation when he listens to people. When Jesus approaches the woman at the well (John 4), the woman tells Jesus that he shouldn’t speak to her because she is a Samaritan and he is Jew. This cultural difference doesn’t stop Jesus from asking her questions and continuing to pursue her heart.
Jesus also listens intently and knows how to encourage someone who is in need. When Martha comes to Jesus and tells him that Lazarus is sick Jesus says, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it. (John 11:4) How beautiful is that! Jesus listens and hears the sorrow and worry in her voice and gives her hope by pointing her to Jesus and God’s ultimate glory.
But Jesus doesn’t just say the right thing, he also feels the emotions of others. Jesus goes to the tomb of Lazarus and even though he knows that he is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, when he sees Martha crying, he weeps. Jesus doesn’t just say the right thing at the right time, he knows when to be silent and empathize with people.
There are people in all of our lives who desperately need someone to listen to them. They need us to lay aside our selfishness, our prejudice, and our hurts in order to minister to them like Jesus ministered to Martha and the woman at the well.
My hope for us as we read this passage is not that we would just try harder to be better listeners, but that by seeing the example of the way Jesus loves, listens, and empathizes with others, that we would be spurred on to do likewise.
Meet our contributoring writer for this “Women of the Word Wednesday!”
Hi! I’m Leah Weber and I live in a small town right outside Atlanta, GA with my husband and one year old little girl. I work alongside my husband in college ministry and it is one of my greatest joys to mentor young women. I started my blog as a creative outlet for myself and as a way to share my passion for creativity, and love for the Lord with others. I hope my post encourages and inspires you! I would love to hear from you!
If you are interested in contributing for Women of the Word Wednesdays, email Amy at Adterry13@hotmail.com!
If you’re joining us to study Proverbs, you can purchase a study guide here.
We would love for you to join our Facebook group here. Wednesdays at noon Amy hosts a live discussion! Join us! ❤