Well, the Year 2018 has come to an end. Every year towards the end we tend to make resolutions that we call “New Year Resolutions” and every New Year we break them.
That got me thinking, in order to make a resolution forward, I must look backward to see what important lessons I have learnt in past several years.
While I do not have time to go through the many lessons I have learned, let me share just one in this post. This is perhaps the most important lesson to learn in my opinion based on the Bible, and it is at par with one more.
This is the lesson: Just Shut up! Do not whisper, do not speak low or loud when it is unnecessary!!
The second lesson I will address later: Speak up! Do not Hold back when you must be heard!!
Sounds simple and perhaps silly!
But the word to the wise is “Listen up and Shut up” none the less!
This lesson is in fact the most difficult to learn. Think about it: Words are intended to communicate. God has given us language to be able to do just that! Humans are the only ones aside from God and angels/supernatural beings that can communicate with language that means something. Leave computers out of this, for those are programmed by humans. Animals are sadly unable to communicate with language although they do communicate in other ways. (Another post, another time).
Words can speak much comfort, tell of love, impart knowledge and wisdom, bring hope and so much more when spoken wisely. Yet, when spoken foolishly words can rip and tear hearts, destroy relationships, cause sickness and mental illness, even cause death, and yes, expose one’s own stupidity!
Proverbs 17: 28 Even a fool is considered wise if he keeps silent, and discerning when he holds his tongue.(BSB)
This is what the Bible says about the tongue:
James 3: 3 When we put bits into the mouths of the horses to make them obey us, we can guide the whole animal. 4 Consider ships as well. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot is inclined. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest ablaze.
6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, this should not be! 11 Can both fresh water and bitter water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree grow olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.(BSB)
Truth be told: I have suffered much due to loose tongues speaking evil of me.
Truth be told: I have also caused pain to others by my own tongue when I have not controlled it.
Truth be told: You would agree you are just as guilty as the next person.
Truth be told: If you say you have not sinned in this way, you are not only lying you are calling God a liar! Verse 8 in the above passage says no man can tame the tongue!
1 John 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.(BSB)
Truth be told: What is impossible with man, IS possible with God!
Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”(BSB)
Truth be told: I have not only to learn to shut my mouth, I am tired of listening to the screaming, yelling, lying, cursing, swearing, obscenity laced ranting that comes across my television and elsewhere from the mouths of so called truth-tellers be it news casters, opinion makers or politicians and more.
Truth be told: This has become the era of Temper Tantrums regardless of age. every one feels entitled to have a temper tantrum, and to get their way.
Truth be told: The injunction to not gossip or speak evil in the Bible only reveals the problem exists in the church big time, but it has always existed outside the church anyway! If you pay attention you will see that 90% of opinions on the news would technically qualify as gossip in church! Amazing isn’t it?! If this happened in church instead of on TV the pastor would be stepping up in his role and the board would be calling in people to discipline. Yet, since it is called “News” and they all get paid big bucks, we all listen in and let the opinions (true or untrue) govern our lives. GOSSIP HURTS!! GOSSIP IS SIN no matter how loud the bullhorn, or pretty the face that tells it!
Truth be told: We need to be discerning with our tongues and our ears.
Truth be told: I would really like us to go backwards! Yes, I said Backwards!! To an era not many decades ago, when your word meant something. When truth was truth and a lie was simply a lie. When newscasters could be trusted, and politicians could be held to account and at least be somewhat honorable. A time when neighbors could be taken at their word and be not just trustworthy, but friendly. A time when children knew discipline and parents were honored. A time when “yes” was “yes” and “no” was “no.” A time when we didn’t cower to a politician’s, news reporter’s, opinion maker’s, store owner’s, shopper’s, driver’s, parent’s, child’s, husband’s, wife’s and anyone else’s TEMPER TANTRUMS and cajole and appease them! These are some VERY BIG BABIES today that we seem stuck to care for! Leave the tantrums to little ones please!!
Truth be told: The Bible tells me such a time would come and I see it is here!
2 Timothy 3: 1 But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, 4 traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!(BSB)
Truth be told: I am tired of it already but know it will yet get worse. Sigh!!
So, I am determined to stay the course for myself, regardless of what the world around me does. I am determined, with His help to stay on the narrow life-giving path.
Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.(NASB)
I am determined with His help to keep the integrity of my heart, to love my fellow humans (and be kind to the animals), to speak the truth in love.
John 8:31b-32 “If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(BLB)
I am determined listen to His Word and to keep my mouth shut when I do not need to speak.
Proverbs 18: 6 A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth invites a beating. 7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. 8 A gossip’s words are like choice morsels, and they sink into the inmost being.(BSB)
I will stick to what Job said:
Job 33:3 My words shall utter the uprightness of my heart; And that which my lips know they shall speak sincerely. 4 The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life. (ASV)
Meditate on the above Scriptures and then join me if you wish. This is my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 and beyond!!
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