DAILY BIBLE READING:

Job 34:1–36:33 
2 Corinthians 4:1-12 
Psalm 44:1-8 
Proverbs 22:10-12

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Proverbs 22:11 (NLT) “Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

As Solomon wrote down the proverb that would become our Verse for the Day, he would have taken it very personal. The other proverbs were true and helpful but this one hit close to home. You see, Solomon was a king.

Proverbs 22:11 (NLT) “Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.”

As a king (or a leader of any type), Solomon knew of the intense strain that rested upon him almost constantly:

  • The pressures of decision-making knowing that people would be affected either positively or negatively by those choices.
  • The pressures that never stop. There was never a time when he was “off the clock.” 
  • The pressures of being responsible for those in positions of authority under his own authority. Their competency (or lack therefore) reflects back on him and would require him to resolve the problem if they weren’t doing their job well.
  • On and on we could could go about the pressures of leadership.
But, Solomon was addressing something very person in our Verse for Today. He knew that leadership can also be incredibly lonely.
  • The higher you climb, the more some people want to knock you down. It makes them feel powerful. So, you begin to question a little more frequently who you can trust.
  • The higher you climb, the more you are surrounded by folks who are ambitiously seeking their own interests and not the interests of the organization and the people within it. Therefore, they are incapable of being trusted or entrusted with authority.
  • The higher your climb, the greater the chance that you will have to correct someone or remove them from positions of authority for indiscretions or incompetencies. In my experience, they rarely take that well. At that point, anything you have shared with them in private becomes ammunition to use against you.
  • It has also been my experience that many who profess to be Jesus-followers readily embrace God’s forgiveness of their own sins while harboring resentment and anger and unforgiveness for a leader and his (supposed) offenses against them (see Matthew 18:23-35). 
  • Again, I could go on and on regarding why leaders struggle to have friendships and know who they can trust.
Solomon would have felt this. He would have longed for friendships and relationships that he could trust. 

Well, who could he trust? As a king and leader, what kind of people would he have enjoyed being around him so that he could satisfy his heart’s longing for relationship?

Proverbs 22:11 (NLT) “Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.”

He wanted people with “a pure heart.” They weren’t duplicitous. They wouldn’t say one thing to him and then something quite different to folks out in the parking lot. They were people of integrity who he could trust because their heart and motives were pure.

He wanted people with “gracious speech.” That means that they were known for being kind in what they said. Because leaders know that if you talk badly about someone else in the leader’s presence, then you’ll probably talk badly about the leader in someone else’s presence.

So, if you’re a leader, this verse provides the qualifications of people that you will want to surround yourself with.

If you aren’t in a position of leadership and want to be a blessing to those who are, ask God to give you these qualities in abundance. Leaders are looking for people with pure hearts and gracious speech.