Devotional for Friday February 23rd

Good Morning Everyone,


Our theme for this month: “Graciousness”


Our Bible verse for today: “May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (CSB)


Our thought for today: “Intentionally speak gracious words of blessing”


Two days ago Billy Graham died. I’ve always had great admiration for Billy, for many reasons, but one reason is that he was such a gracious man. Like Moses, Billy had a habit of speaking words of blessing upon people. It seemed so natural for him. The words of kindness and compassion just seemed to flow. He was a gracious man and his speech revealed that about him.


Being known for his graciousness is all the more remarkable considering how much he spoke. Preachers commonly joke among ourselves that “misspeaking” is an occupational hazard for us. If you talk enough sooner or later you will say something that is wrong, or which comes across wrong because of the words or tone you used. At other times you will say something insensitive or use an illustration that was misplaced or inappropriate for the audience. That happens because you didn’t give enough thought to it before you said it. At such times you do not come across as gracious and you often end up wishing you had not said what you said. The more you have to talk, the more likely such occasions become. But that was rare for Billy Graham. Somehow he managed to be gracious all the time.


I think that comes from intentionality. We decide we want to be a gracious person and then we train ourselves to think gracious thoughts and to speak gracious words. If we do that, over time, graciousness becomes the norm for us and any thought or word that is not gracious stands out like a flashing red light because it just does not fit with who we are.


Are you intentionally gracious with your words and manner? It’s harder for some of us than for others. You may have a personality that leans towards critical thoughts and unkind words. Or you may be in a profession that requires you to speak a lot about difficult subjects. For a variety of reasons gracious thinking and gracious speaking might be a challenge for you, but we can all learn to be more gracious by being intentional about it and training ourselves in graciousness.


Train yourself to think gracious thoughts, and then be intentional about speaking gracious words.


God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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