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Gracious Words

Did you read the title of this post and immediately think of someone? Close your eyes and think about how you feel around them. People who are truly gracious are rare and the world needs them desperately. I would love to be one and I know we could do this together! Here is a definition according to Merriam-Webster.com:

  • Gracious(adj): showing a natural kindness and courtesy especially in social situations
  • Words related to gracious: cordial, hospitable, friendly, kind, considerate…
  • Nearest opposite words of gracious: abrupt, impolite, grumpy, blunt, rude…

The first thing that I want to notice is that Jesus spoke gracious words.

“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.”

Luke 4:22a

I mention this because He is the standard of authenticity and integrity. From His example, we know that speaking graciously does not mean insincerity, nor does it require a compromise in what we personally stand for. Gracious words come from a place inside that truly values another person and speaks it out loud. It is a manner of speaking that includes others, soothes over awkwardness, and shows honor.

I adore gracious people, but fear I seldom am one. To improve my effectiveness in this area, I need to worry less about what people think of me and more about how they feel about themselves around me. They are precious and dearly loved by Jesus and the way I speak to them can and should impress that upon them deeply.

It might be more acceptable today than ever before to be blunt and rude to each other. People may be getting accustomed to it and barely taking offense anymore, but that only enhances our opportunity! Think how amazing the impact could be if we would learn to speak gracious words in a world where they are so few and far between!

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Proverbs 16:24

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Conversations Devotions

Deceitful Words

Lies, dishonesty, falsehood, fibs, misinformation… there are many ways to label an untruth. Did you know there is a marked difference between deceptive words and deceitful words? They are similar, but the difference is in the intent. Deceptive words are likely misleading, but deceitful words are deliberately so (wikidiff.com). This is what Merriam-Webster.com had to say:

  • Deceitful (adj): marked by, based on, or done by the use of dishonest methods to acquire something of value
  • Words related to deceitful: fraudulent, misleading, shady, sneaky, sly, tricky…
  • Nearest opposite words of deceitful: candid, open, trustworthy, legitimate, valid…

My deceitful words are motivated by a desire to gain something of value. What might fall into this category? How about an embellished resume that makes me appear better qualified for a job than I am? An exaggerated retelling of an event where I receive higher applause than I deserve? Or when I arrange details to throw suspicion off me when I have made a mistake? If a picture says a thousand words, then what is it called when I edit a photo to remove my flaws and attract more attention? Whew, this is getting heavy now!

I would much rather be known for valid stories with legitimate facts. I want to be open and honest. And the funny thing is, when someone is real with me and shares their failures in all candidness, I’m drawn to them and feel that I can trust them. Why would I try to alter the truth and think that people would like me better for it?

This one hits home for me, and I realize I have some repenting to do. How about you? Can you think of examples of ways you might be guilty of deceitful words?

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”

1 Peter 3:10