Listen to today’s devo!

The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. (Ecc. 12:11)

My mother is small in stature. However, what she lacks physically, she makes up in spirit. Though surrounded by sons (four of us) and a husband who is commonly considered a master of mischief, Mom’s influence exceeds her height. I remember her once confronting my brother; the physical distinction between them was almost comical. Mom stood with a finger pressed into my brother’s chest (as high as she could reach), and she barked, “Halt! Hungry, angry, lonely, tired?” My brother had been skulking about, snarling at anyone who dared look at him. She dared and embedded the nail.

Mom’s instruction, in no small part due to the setting where she seemed to be prodding the beast, was taken to mind among my brothers and me. Thereafter, the word halt was used frequently when someone was being abrasive. To this day I find myself mentally muttering, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?” when I find myself being short with my own children. My mother’s goad prods me to reclaim peace and kindness.

Think of the prodding sayings that you know, and consider their lasting impression. Some may be useful in specific circumstances, and some may be useful broadly. Importantly, consider the source of the saying and the biblical faithfulness of the saying. Such sayings should act like sharp reminders keeping you on the path of righteousness.

Write out several wise biblically faithful sayings that have blessed you.

Paul Zeller is an adult discipleship pastor who enjoys reading history and science-fiction—looking for theological movements in stories. He believes that faithful imagination opens doors for Jesus.

© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.