Cordial Conversations

Here's a little scenario...

Neighbor 1: Good Morning! (You dirty dog)

Neighbor 2: How's it going? (As if I didn't know with the noise coming from your house last night)

Neighbor 1: Couldn't be better! My son's team won again. (Not like your lazy kid)

Neighbor 2: Oh, that's great. (Here we go again. My son's the best. blah, blah, blah)

Neighbor 1: You still planning to get away this weekend? (Please say yes so I can get some sleep)

Neighbor 2: Yeah. Going to the wife's folks for a reunion. (Better than going to the zoo you call your in-laws)

Neighbor 1: Sounds good. I should get going. I have some yard work to get done. (You know what a yard should look like, right?)

Neighbor 2: Yeah, I have some projects to do too. (Thank goodness THAT'S over)

So I exaggerate with that little scenario, but I think there is a hint of truth in it. Sometimes what we say and what we think don't always match up. We "speak in friendly ways with [our] neighbors while malice is in our hearts." (Psalm 28:3) It may sound "cordial" as the NIV puts it. We may even hide behind a smile, but in truth our hearts reveal our feelings.

We must remember "man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart." (1 Samuel 15:7) We must rid ourselves of "bitter envy and selfish ambition" in our hearts. (James 3:14) This is what causes our thoughts and our words to not match up. Instead, James tells us to have "wisdom from above" because it is "pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits." (James 3:17)

If I fill myself with God's wisdom my conversations will be pure, which to me says there will be peace, love, mercy in my heart; not envy and hypocrisy. The we can do as Paul tells us, "Speak the truth, each on to his neighbor." (Ephesians 4:25)


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