Excellent Speech & Spirit: The Key to Excel in Life

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“I’ve got the pedal to the metal & I’m goin’ nowhere fast!”

“Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.” — Proverbs 17:7

A favorite pastime of my childhood was the go-cart tracks. Recently, I was with a friend in his outside garage and saw some old mini-bikes and go-carts. I remembered as a pre-teen picking what I thought was the fastest car of the bunch. The race was on! Soon thereafter, I was in line with 12 cars anxiously awaiting the green light. What I did not know, was that each car had a governor on it. The governor adjusted the speed that it would go. I was the “chosen one” for this particular race. My governor was maxed out, causing my car to barely move. Ready, set, go…go…go! I put the pedal to the metal and soon realized I was going nowhere fast! Have you ever thought that way about a circumstance in your life?

Proverbs 17 has two areas on which each of us should contemplate:

Twice in this chapter of Proverbs, you see the word “excellent.” In both instances, God is teaching us that He wants the Christian to excel to excellence.

The word excellent means distinguished for superior attainments. It comes from the root word excel. In the midst of the New Year and developing new habits, there are two areas that Solomon (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) declares that we as followers of Christ should excel to excellence:

Excellent Speech

The first area is found in the verse above when we are taught that our speech should be excellent. This does not mean that we should try to impress people with flattering or fancy words. During my freshman year of college, our chancellor preached a message on the English language and it’s beauty. I have seen degradation in the use of words and sentence structure even in my short lifetime. The chat rooms, social sites, and other tech savvy tools are only making matters worse.

Slang is Not Excellent

Be careful about using slang while conversing with people. Slang is not a way of speech that is superior to everyone else. Even if the whole world talks slang, Christians should not be a people who talk slang. If the whole world takes that which God declares as holy and abuses it, we should not be a people who make jest of that which is holy. Going further into this thought, let’s also be careful about talking dirty or inappropriately. Christians should not be the ones who tell the dirty or off-color jokes. We should not listen to them either. Our way of talking should cause others to take notice of how we are appropriate in all our conversations. Recently I was following a famous football quarterback on twitter until, after a few tweets, I realized I was following someone who would influence my mind not away from foolishness but towards it. I quickly found the “unfollow” button.

An Excellant Spirit

The second area we see the word “excellent” in this chapter is in verse 27. This time God teaches us that we should have an excellent spirit. In other words, our spirit should excel in a direction. That direction should not be towards our soul (Mind, Will, Emotions), but towards the Spirit of Christ that dwelleth in us. As Christians, we should not be people who are always “down in the dumps”. We should not be people who always complain about external stimuli. We should be a people who are on topside all the time; even when hard times come. This is a spirit that is excellent. Our spirit should be such that others recognize our spirit for its excellence.

I ask you, have you excelled to excellence in the areas of your speech and spirit? Make it two of your check points in 2010…

Don’t settle for going nowhere fast, but strive that you may excel to the point of excellence!

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