Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to speak to a local women’s group around the topic of intentional parenting and “unofficial” homeschooling. To help them kick off their study of Ruth, I was asked to incorporate as much of that story as possible.
As I was preparing, this verse struck me:
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked [Boaz], “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me — a foreigner?”
Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband…” (Ruth 2:10-11a)
Did you catch it? Ruth’s reputation preceeded her. Although she was a foreign woman in a foreign land, Boaz had been told about her character and sacrifice. He already knew her story and praised her for it.
Wow. Consider this taking place in your own town. What an honor to be so highly-regarded!
Yet I wonder if what I do is ever overshadowed by something I say.
I wonder if my religion is ever proven worthless because I struggle to wrangle the beast that forms my words. Or whether even the admirable things I do are easily tossed aside or found questionable because I allow salt water to spring?
This verse has been on our refrigerator for ten months, and every single time I read it, it still cuts to the quick. Taming the tongue — whether that means choosing kindness over a sharp response, cutting profanity, or ending the gossip — proves to be a constant battle.
My own prayer this week is to gain a reputation not just for kindness, but for kind words.
- For an edited vocabulary
- For framing others in the best possible way
- For holding back unnecessary information that could only harm
- For praising, not pouting.
- For compliments, not complaints.
Lord, please prove my dearly-held faith to be be true and of great worth. Help me to represent you well and gain a reputation for a tamed tongue, even when its tethers threaten to undo. Be Lord of all, even and especially of my tongue.
- Write a post on your own blog that incorporates a story or your thoughts about this verse and its application in your own life. -OR-
- Enlighten us with your theological take on the verse. -OR-
- Post a photo that captures the essence of this verse.
- Leave a comment with the same if you don’t have a blog to link up!
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