He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend. – Proverbs 22:11
With the duplicity and extreme rancor of the current public discourse, it seems there would be no place for the man of Proverbs 22:11. Who today expects to find in public life a pure heart or gracious speech? It is possible, even in the most unexpected of places to find such men. Daniel was just such a man.
Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. – Daniel 6:19-23
We all know that Daniel became the King’s friend.
Remember, we are looking at a proverb; a pithy saying containing more wisdom than words. So, what is the principle taught in Proverbs 22:11? Purity of heart and gracious speech are qualities that people of influence want to have around them. These qualities, just because they are rare, will often produce promotion in your life. I was once hired on a job I much needed for no reason other than the boss told me he needed someone around him he could trust. I knew nothing about the company or the business, but the work of God’s grace in my life was what attracted my boss to me for the job which I needed to care for my family.
Then there is the attraction to the King of kings. Some interpret this proverb to mean that the person who has a pure heart and gracious speech will find himself the friend of King Jesus. If I ever needed a motive for pursuing a pure heart and gracious speech this would do it.
Fortunately, our salvation doesn’t hinge on how pure our hearts are and how gracious our speech is, but we are to work out our salvation, that is, the faith that brought salvation will produce results in our lives. The Holy Spirit’s work in us will create a more pure heart and more gracious speech as we walk with Jesus and this is pleasing to him.
May we find ourselves in pursuit of a pure heart and gracious speech. Not only will it have a good effect on the society around us, including people of influence, but we will also find it affecting our friendship with our Saviour as well.