Daily Devotionals from Grace in the Workplace
Monday, September 30 2013
Verse of the Day
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:31-34 – NIV]
This seems like a nonsensical question, doesn’t it? Everyone is worried about his or her job, right? Duh! Well, yes and no. Read on.
We humans are prone to worry about everything. There is generally no aspect of our lives that we don’t worry about. This is because we delude ourselves with the mistaken impression that we are in control of our lives. And since we are in reality powerless, we have to worry because we just don’t know the future and what it will bring. No matter how hard we try to control future events we just can’t. After all, we are human!
It is sort of ironic that we worry so much about our jobs, since it is our God-given talents and abilities that manifest themselves in the marketable skills that enable us to provide for our families and ourselves. This is the fundamental point that Jesus is making about God providing all the things that we need. This is a big part of HOW He does it.
Despite the fact that God has provided for us we still worry about our jobs day and night. Will I get a promotion? Will I be laid off after the merger? Will I get a good review? Will I get the raise I deserve? Most employees think that they are God’s gift to the workforce. They are smarter than their bosses and their peers. They deserve to be treated better. They deserve to be paid more. And on and on and on. This behavior is characteristic of our old friends pride and elevation of self, and it also plays a big role in the worry game.
How do you come to grips with all of this? Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness and worry fades away and is replaced by peace and serenity. That’s because you are finally focused on what is really important in life—your relationship with the Father.
I could tell you that if the things that you are worried about actually happen, in all likelihood God will provide a different and new path for you. You’ll probably get a new job and it may be the same, better, or worse than your current job. You may not get a promotion. Your salary may get frozen or cut. But no matter what happens I’ll bet that five years from now, when you look back over your life, things will be just fine. Trust and obey God. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Friday, September 27 2013
Verse of the Day
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23 – NIV]
In a recent sermon, my pastor and friend, Larry York described the comma in Romans 6:23 as the “most important comma in the Bible,” and he’s right, isn’t he? We know that God abhors sin. The Apostle Paul says it best: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Ever since Adam and Eve and the Fall from grace, God has been building a bridge, a path for His people so that they can reestablish a right relationship with Him.
God was faithful and long-suffering. He had a Plan—Noah and the Flood, the numerous covenants with His chosen people the Israelites, their constant disobedience, and finally it all culminated in a final act of love, when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners, i.e., His people. What amazing love! Jesus suffered on the cross and took on our sins so that we might have eternal life. Thank God for the redemptive blood of Jesus that covers our sin once and for all time.
Thursday, September 26 2013
Verse of the Day
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly." [John 10:10 – NKJV]
The contrast in this passage is between Satan, the devil, and Jesus, who is our Good Shepherd. Why in the world would someone follow the devil and his evil, deceitful ways that lead to eternal damnation when the way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ? There is no doubt that the lure of the secular world is strong, and to many it’s irresistible. Power, wealth, greed, and sexual perversion are the way of the world. Many seek these things as a means of self-fulfillment. In today’s society it is all about instant gratification like its never been before. Me, me, me… But that is not God’s way. He teaches real love, forgiveness, humility, and wisdom.
Never forget that God’s love is irresistible. He is constantly whispering in the ear of the lost soul. So let’s give thanks today for our Savior, Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him.
Wednesday, September 25 2013
Verse of the Day
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. [2 Samuel 6:14-15 – NIV 1984]
I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of a dancer. My wife, Sharon, loves to dance and she’s recently gone berserk over all those dance shows on TV. Maybe I should take dance lessons from King David!
All kidding aside, all of us Believers should start practicing our singing and dancing and the sooner the better. We are going to be singing praise songs to the Lord of lords forever and ever and dancing with all of our might on the streets of the New Jerusalem to honor and glorify Him. When we get to heaven, we will see God’s face and there will be no more night (He will be our light!). So we will need all the energy we can muster because we will be singing and dancing 24/7 for eternity! A word to the wise: get practicing! I don’t care if you don’t like to dance or can’t sing a note. That’s not the point. What’s in your heart, and how do you feel about God? This is more of an attitude thing than a talent thing. He doesn’t care about the performance, He cares about our hearts. Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him!
Tuesday, September 24 2013
Verse of the Day
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. [Psalm 73:25 – NIV]
There are many great passages in the Bible about loving God, and King David seems to be involved in more than his fair share of them, either as the author of a Psalm or as the subject of a passage about loving God. After all, God described David as “a man after My own heart.”
The theologian Paul Tillich defined god (with a lower case “g”) as “your ultimate concern.” So what are you really bonkers about? Playing golf? Gourmet cooking? Eating gourmet cooking? Your kids? Fast cars? TV? Football? History? Skiing? Camping and enjoying the great outdoors? Your spouse? Baseball? Traveling? Your job? Clothes and fashion? Reading? Finance? Music? Facebook and other social media? The list goes on and on, doesn’t it?
We humans have many varied interests. We can really get passionate and obsessed with lots of things—our families, our friends and our hobbies and interests. But what (rather who) should be our ultimate concern? Who should we be most passionate about? Why God, of course!
That’s the great thing about today’s passage. David describes a relationship with God in which God is absolutely everything to him. In David’s life there was nothing, absolutely nothing more important than God. Nothing else came close. So how do you feel about God? Is He your everything?
Monday, September 23 2013
Verse of the Day
A leader of good judgment gives stability; an exploiting leader leaves a trail of waste.[Proverbs 29:4 – The Message]
The stereotypical employee thinks that his or her boss is a clueless idiot, but in reality this just ain’t so. Most people in leadership deserve to be where they are and this is especially true the higher you go up the chain of command. But, there are always exceptions. There are the occasional bad apples, the executives or business owners that are infatuated with themselves and with the power of their positions. They mistreat, abuse, and ride roughshod over their people and then wonder why their company’s financial performance and productivity numbers are so low. They are hemorrhaging cash and don’t have a clue. But God does. They should listen to God’s Word to the wise. Treat your employees with respect as you would like to be treated yourself and you’ll be amazed at the results. Doing the right thing is, after all, the right thing to do, but it also tends to produce results! As an example let’s consider one of my least favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas. This movie is not to be confused with Holiday Inn in which Bing Crosby made the song “White Christmas” famous, but enough trivia. Anyway, in the movie White Christmas Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen star as Army buddies (and entertainers) at the end of World War II. Their beloved commanding officer, Major General Thomas F. Waverly (played by Dean Jagger), is being relieved of command. His troops give him an emotional farewell and since this is a musical, it’s a song called “The Old Man.” The words are what every leader should cherish…
We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go
Long as he wants to go opposite to the foe
We'll stay with the old man wherever he wants to stay
Long as he stays away from the battle's fray
Because we love him, we love him
Especially when he keeps us on the ball
And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call
With the grandest son of a soldier of them all.
Obviously there is a bit of humor in this Irving Berlin song, but the real message comes through loud and clear: real leaders who care about their people have their love and respect. This is what God has in mind for you if you are a leader.
Friday, September 20 2013
Verse of the Day
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. [Proverbs 16:23 – NKJV]
The world tells us it’s our intellect that makes us wise. Based on this belief, the brain is the key to wisdom. But, is this really true? Never forget that in the Bible, a wise person is one who knows God and His Ways. So, the real key to wisdom is not the brain, it’s the heart. God always looks at the heart when evaluating a person. In Genesis 4, He found Abel’s offering acceptable while He rejected Cain’s sacrifice, based not solely on the offerings themselves, but on the hearts of the respective givers. We know from Acts 13:22 that God found King David to be “a man after My own heart.” Why? Because David always returned to being fully and completely devoted to the Lord his God.
God looks at our hearts, too, in order to see how we are doing on our walk with Him. Do we love Him and understand Him like King David or only half heartedly like His Chosen People the Israelites?
In today’s passage, King Solomon tells us that the brain still plays a role in this process. The heart instructs the brain of a wise person and as a result “adds learning to his lips.” In other words the heart trains the brain. But make no mistake, wisdom is not intellectual knowledge. It’s not a degree from Harvard, Yale or another Ivy League university. Wisdom is a right relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an ever-changing heart that is growing more and more like Him one day at a time.
Thursday, September 19 2013
Verse of the Day
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God.” [James 4:6-7 – NKJV]
All of us tend to think way too much of ourselves. We are prideful, self-centered creatures with an insatiable need to elevate our needs, wants, thoughts, desires, and objectives above others and far too often, above the Lord our God. We think we’re the top dog, but in reality we are all sinners, the lowest of the low. It’s really about how we see ourselves that counts in God’s eyes. Do we lord over others? Are we dominating? Are we prideful, arrogant, or overbearing? We know that the meek shall inherit the earth, but are we meek?
How we behave is so important. Adopting an attitude of humility is not a situational thing. Being humble at church or with your family and friends is great, but how do you behave at work? Are you aggressive and mean? Do you have a “take no prisoners” attitude in the workplace? Let’s hope and pray that is not the case. God expects us to behave consistently in accordance with His Word regardless of the situation or circumstances in which we find ourselves. Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t submit to God and to others. Be humble. Pray every day that there will be less of you and more of others.
Wednesday, September 18 2013
Verse of the Day
Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank. [Proverbs 22:29 – NIV]
Most of us work hard so that we will be rewarded. Usually we are looking for a salary increase, a bigger bonus, or a promotion. But a tangible sign of our employer’s appreciation of our efforts isn’t always the most important thing. Doing the best you can do at work brings you honor; it enhances your reputation not only at work but in the community as well. More importantly, being the best you can be at work honors and glorifies the Lord your God. Now that’s a really good reason to try harder. And, by the way, if you do excellent work you will likely be rewarded in a tangible way, too. So be skillful in your work and serve before the King!
Tuesday, September 17 2013
Verse of the Day
When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God. [2 Samuel 6:6-7 – NIV]
Here’s a little contextual background about this passage. Before the reign of King Saul, the Philistines captured the ark and after a circuitous journey though their county (due to the fact that tumors afflicted the Philistine people wherever the ark went), it ended up in the temple of Dagon (their god). The next morning, the statue of Dagon was found prostrate in front of the ark. After restoring it to an upright position, it was again found prostrate the next morning, but this time its head and hands were broken off. After seven months of this, the Philistines couldn’t wait to get rid of the ark so they sent it back to Israel posthaste. But the ark was not taken to the temple; instead it remained for twenty years at the house of Abinadab and God blessed Abinadab and his family. When David became king, he noticed how God had blessed Abinadab and decided it was time to return the ark to Jerusalem so that all of Israel could be blessed.
King David had the right motive, but everything else about moving the ark was a disaster. God had given the Israelites very specific and detailed instructions about who could transport the ark and how they were to go about it. Nobody was to touch the ark. This was a capital offense. Keep in mind that the ark was the dwelling place of the Lord God Almighty and it was holy. David disobeyed or ignored all of God’s instructions for transporting the ark. It was transported on a cart instead of using the poles, as God had commanded, and the men who moved it were not Levites.
So when Uzzah reached out and touched the ark to steady it, God struck him dead. King David was angry with God, but God did this to teach him a lesson. God had gone to great lengths to prepare the Israelites to be His people. They needed to understand what it meant to be holy because God was holy. He could dwell with them only if they learned how to approach a Holy God. So Uzzah suffered for his sin when he touched the ark—the tabernacle of God.
Let’s fast forward to the present day. As Believers, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of God in our bodies. The ark is no longer His dwelling place; we are. So, what don’t we understand about God being holy? How do we treat His tabernacle? On the one hand, our physical bodies have nothing to do with our eternal life with God, but they are the repositories for His Spirit. So, how should we treat them? Should we eat, drink, and be merry? Aside from the fact that as Christians such behavior is unacceptable, it also fails to take account of the fact that we are ignoring the holiness of His tabernacle. Bottom line, we all need to focus on what it means to be holy and act accordingly. Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty!
Monday, September 16 2013
Verse of the Day
“He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.” [Proverbs 18:9 – NKJV]
In the old days, we used to hear a lot about the “old world craftsmen.” They took incredible pride in their work. Whether they were watchmakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, or coach builders, it made little difference. The members of each of these trades and many others built things to last. They did top-quality work.
How do we stack up today? Do we do the best job we can or are we content to just skate by? Do we take pride in a job well done? I hope and pray that we do. Years ago when you wanted to cast dispersions on a person’s work effort or the job they did you referred to it as “government work,” and I’m sure that’s still true today. When there is little expectation of quality on the part of the customer or recipient of your work, or you are in a position where you have “guaranteed employment,” there is a tendency to slough off and do shoddy work.
Unfortunately we see this all too often in life. But, we as Believers are held to a much higher standard. We are to “work as if working for the Lord.” When you have God as your boss you want to do the best job possible. You strive for perfection in your work and produce the best results possible regardless of the circumstances in which you find yourself. So be the best you can be for the Lord today! May your efforts at work bring honor and glory to Him today!
Friday, September 13 2013
Verse of the Day
No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. [Jeremiah 10:6-7 – NIV]
There is only one God. He is Sovereign. He alone deserves to be worshiped and glorified; there is certainly no one like Him. But our tendency is to elevate people and things above God. For some reason, we have a need to worship the created instead of the Creator. That was Israel’s weakness as the people constantly strayed from the Lord their God and worshiped Baal and other gods made of wood, stone, and metal. These idols were shaped like humans, yet they couldn’t do anything. Unlike the true God, they were powerless. We have the same problem today with our incessant need for stuff. Possessions are so important to us. But things don’t really matter. They come and go. We also tend to put our leaders on pedestals, but they are, after all, only human and disappoint us in the end. Only God is our Rock. There is no one like You, God!
Thursday, September 12 2013
Verse of the Day
And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. [1 Samuel 3:8-9 – NKJV]
It was not uncommon in Old Testament times for prophets and others to actually hear God speak. God used them to share His Word with His chosen people, the Israelites. Today we rarely hear about God speaking, but He does. It may not be in an audible way like in ancient days, but the Holy Spirit is constantly talking to each Believer, sharing wisdom, providing insight, shedding light on sin, and administering discipline. Since the day of Pentecost, we are blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are truly Tabernacles. Since God dwells within us, He no longer needs to speak audibly; He can speak in our minds. And He does. Are you listening?
Do you hear a still small voice tugging at your heart? Does God have a plan for your life, ministry, mission work, lay service, or leadership that you are ignoring or resisting? Has He called you and yet you’re too busy to accept? If so, then pray about it with an open and willing heart. Remember, when God asks you to do something He always provides the means to get it done. So be attentive and listen to that inner voice. It just might be God calling!
Wednesday, September 11 2013
Verse of the Day
But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:15 – NIV]
God called King David “a man after My own heart,” and although David’s son, Solomon, started off strong in his relationship with the Lord, he fizzled at the end. His downfall was attributable to the two things he railed against the most in Proverbs: women and money. Unlike his father, he had a divided heart. You might say that Solomon is a microcosm of Israel. The Israelites were like a yo-yo. They would stray from the Lord their God, but they would always return to Him (after He forgave them and invited them back into His presence). Even when they came back to God they continued to worship pagan gods and traditions. The Israelites had a divided heart toward the Lord.
You can’t serve God with a divided heart. He wants all of you or none at all. The words of Joshua are true today. They are words to live by. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Who ya’ gonna’ serve?
Tuesday, September 10 2013
Verse of the Day
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;” whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. [James 4:13-16 – NKJV]
We all like to boast. Whether it’s our golf game, cooking, business accomplishments, you name it. For the most part we have a high opinion of ourselves, which is generally undeserved, but, that’s not the point. The businessmen in this “parable” were boasting with certainty about the outcome of future events. They were going on a business trip and it was, without a doubt in their minds, going to be a success. They were going to sell things and make a huge profit. The only problem for them and for us is that none of us knows what will happen tomorrow, much less in the next minute or two. Only God is omnipresent. Only He transcends time and space. So, it is boastful indeed for us as mere humans to make statements with absolute certainty about future events. As James says, such boasting is sinful.
Does this mean that we are not to plan our lives, to think and dream about the future? Absolutely not! But when we dream and when we plan, we are to do so by seeking God’s Will for what we should do. After all, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, and many others with creative spirits have great dreams about what the future holds for them, but these dreams need to be in accordance with God’s Will and grounded in His Word. Make sure you pray to God about what His Plan is for your future.
Monday, September 09 2013
Verse of the Day
For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. [Romans 7:5-7 – NIV]
In the Old Testament, the Israelites lived under the Law. It consisted of the Ten Commandments and many other commands and rules that God provided to ensure that His people were holy. The Law provided a means of covering sin, but it did not eliminate it. The Sadducees, Pharisees, and other religious leaders became very adept at keeping the letter of the Law; appearances mattered to them. Form over substance, so to speak. Thankfully, this all came to an end thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. His death and resurrection put an end to the Law. But did it?
In one sense, yes; because we no longer need the Law and its system of sacrifices to cover our sins. But as the Apostle Paul suggests, we still need the law to reveal sin. That is one of the many gifts of the Spirit. The Spirit helps us identify sin in our lives. Once revealed, we need to repent and sin no more. Sin is still with us and we still need a means of dealing with it. But Praise God for His Son, Jesus who has freed us from the penalty of sin forever. Hallelujah!
Friday, September 06 2013
Verse of the Day
“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.” [Ecclesiastes 2:24 – NIV 1984]
Do you find your work satisfying? I sure hope so. But many employees are frustrated. They spend much of their time complaining about their job, their boss and/or their company. For whatever reason, they are dissatisfied, disgruntled, bitter, and angry. I hope and pray that this doesn’t describe anyone who is reading this devotional.
First and foremost, we are to work as if working for the Lord, and that in and of itself should provide great satisfaction. Then there are the other things, often small, intangibles, that can bring us a feeling of satisfaction. Getting a congratulatory word from our boss for a job well-done, finishing a difficult task, or helping a coworker—each of these things can give us a boost at work. Also, attitude plays a huge role here, too. If you start your workday with a bad, negative attitude you’re not likely to enjoy your work. This kind of behavior feeds on itself. Why would one want to spend day after day down in the doldrums like this?
So follow King Solomon’s advice and look for satisfaction in your work. It really is there just waiting for you to discover it!
Thursday, September 05 2013
Verse of the Day
…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [Matthew 6:34 – NIV]
Here’s another rock ’n’ roll theme: “Let’s Live for Today,” a 1967 hit by The Grass Roots. If you listen to the lyrics you will hear words and phrases like “worries” and “people in a hurry” and so on. Well, maybe the songwriter was spending time in the Gospel of Matthew before putting pen to paper. Anyway, before we consider today’s passage, I think it’s only fair to point out that most devotionals about worry focus on the need to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” which certainly is the key to overcoming the worry problem. Those of us in the workplace need lots of help with worry and stress. After all, they are the most common byproducts of our work environment. Did you get your report done? What about that promotion you’re expecting? Are you going to meet the deadline? We are under constant stress and we worry nonstop. Putting God at the center of your life is the first step to controlling and eventually eliminating worry. When you put Him in charge and take yourself out of the equation, there is a peace in your life like you never imagined. Everything becomes crystal clear. He is holy and we’re not. So, seeking God and His will for your life is the key to your worry problem.
But, there is more. In today’s passage we get some added insight into why we worry and why it’s so futile and pointless to do so. Worry happens when we delude ourselves into thinking that we, and not God, are in control of our lives. But, because we are really weak, flawed beings, there is really nothing we can do to control or shape future events. Hence, we worry because we don’t know what’s going to happen. Our sinful pride prevents us for seeing the reality of the situation. That’s why today’s passage is so neat. When Jesus says “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” what He’s really saying is that tomorrow will take care of itself; i.e., that the natural course of events will control and shape what happens in the future. And here is where it gets really fun; He goes on to say, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Well, there’s no doubt about that, is there?
So, here’s the lesson for today. Only God is omniscient and omnipresent. He knows everything and He is everywhere at once. He is in the past, present, and the future. Since He is in the future, doesn’t it make sense for us to seek Him and His will for our lives? We have to live in the present, so why don’t we just get comfortable with that fact and stop dwelling on possible future events over which we have no control? There is absolutely no point in worrying; it is a total waste of time. We need to turn ourselves over to God, seek His will, and live in the present. After all, that is where we are. So, live for today!
Wednesday, September 04 2013
Verse of the Day
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – NIV]
I don’t know about you, but I have a few weaknesses, a few faults. Actually, there are so many I can’t count them. Most of us delude ourselves and put on a façade of strength and wisdom, as though we are masters of our fate and in total control of every situation. Who are we kidding? But it’s one thing to acknowledge our weaknesses and quite another to welcome them and celebrate them as Paul did. So delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, because in doing so, Jesus Christ our Savior manifests Himself in our lives and gives us strength. As Paul says, only in His strength am I strong. So pray for adversities!
Tuesday, September 03 2013
Verse of the Day
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. [Psalm 141:3 – NKJV]
I don’t know about you, but I frequently say stupid and occasionally hurtful things to others. Most of the time this is unintentional, but regardless, it shouldn’t happen. The problem is I think I’m a funny and humorous guy, and the vast majority of the situations in which I say something mean or inappropriate to someone stems from an attempt at humor. A quick wit generally means a quick (and often hurtful) tongue.
Speaking without thinking is a real problem, isn’t it? We could all benefit from the advice of the Psalmist to “set a guard over my mouth.” Actually in my case it should be a muzzle. The key here is to think first. Instead of responding like a machine gun in a conversation, let your heart and mind form your thoughts and that will help ensure that your response will be appropriate. Better yet, get into the habit of listening to others. A wise man listens.