Scripture: Proverbs 26 (focus on 23-26)
Observation: Smooth words and flattery are deceiving, as people often use them to cover up the true evil and deceitful intentions inside of them.
Application: In college, I completed a summer research program, which ended with each of us presenting our research to a panel of professors and a few other students. Many students, especially all the science and engineering majors, were nervous about this big presentation for weeks; however, as a communication major, this was my favorite part of the whole summer. No more research in a library by myself and instead getting the opportunity to talk in front of a big group of people? Sign me up!
I felt confident about my presentation, especially since I went right after a biology major who was so clearly nervous that he muttered and barely made eye contact with anyone in the room the entire time. I knew my presentation was far better.
I did it, and it seemed to go well…which is why I was fairly shocked when I read through the feedback. Most of the panel judges gave me glowing remarks, but one was far from complimentary. He told me that my research was weak and that I had let my strong public speaking skills cover up for a lack of hard work to really test my hypothesis.
The worst part of all? He was right.
Using our words to cover up what’s really going on is a dangerous trap.
“Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.” (v. 23)
What’s hiding behind our words? Is it laziness? Hatred? Deception? Betrayal? Fear? Selfishness?
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” – Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)
Today, let’s take our hearts to God, asking him to reveal anything sinful, selfish, or broken inside of us.
Prayer: God, reveal my heart to me. Show me what’s hidden, so I can bring it to you, remove it from my life, and become more like you in every way. Amen.