The Studious Disciple

Michael Beck

“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” (Proverbs 15:28)

Peter had a bad habit of putting his foot in his mouth. He was one of the Lord’s most zealous disciples, but not one of His most studious.

Knowing how to bridle our tongue is a mark of maturity. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” (James 3:2) A mouth without a filter reveals a man whose worship of God is not there. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (James 1:26)

We worship God when our heart, mind, and body are in submission to Him. We don’t act on every impulse; we don’t speak whatever we think or feel. We take all things to God first. We ask Him whether the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart are acceptable in His sight. Before our mouth responds, our heart studies. The issue is never whether we think something is good, or right, or necessary to say; it is always: “Lord, is this acceptable to you? Should I speak or stay silent?” “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.” (Prov. 10:32)

Peter was a growing disciple. As he matured, he added virtue to his faith; knowledge to his virtue; and temperance to his knowledge. (2 Pet. 1:5,6) The once intemperate follower of Jesus became the student of Christ who had learned how to rule his spirit and tongue. And to his temperance was added patience.

One of the chief differences between the wicked and the righteous is that the wicked can’t wait. They have no patience. They want what they want and they want it now. The righteous wait on the Lord for all things. Like their Master they are meek. They wear the yoke that He wore. They do nothing of themselves. As they hear from God, they judge; doing and saying only what He permits.

We spare ourselves so much trouble by being enrolled in the school of Christ, and learning of Him. He keeps us from the folly of our own way. He leads us in paths of righteousness and peace. As we let Him keep our mouth, He will keep our soul from so much unnecessary drama.

We are tested constantly. Failing the test can so often be chalked up to one simple thing: we didn’t study. We were wise in our own conceits, thinking we knew more than we did. Our response was wrong because the preparations of our heart and the answer of our tongue were not of the Lord.

Develop good study habits. Before you act; before you speak, learn to enquire of the Lord. Study to answer! By the Spirit of the Lord your heart can hear, your tongue can be tamed, and you can pass every test!

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.