As I was standing in front the of bathroom mirror shaving this morning, I was thinking about a conversation I was soon going to have with someone. Suddenly I could hear the Lord speak to my heart. He said, “I don’t want you to say that. I don’t want you to have that conversation. There are some things left better unspoken.” It was so simple and gave me such clear direction and I knew it was going to help me and protect me in more ways than I could foresee.
When I think of all the basic biblical life-application lessons I have studied over the years, I’ve probably spent more time studying the importance of right thinking and the words we speak, than anything else. In my view, it is the place where people hurt and get hurt the most. If only the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” were true. It’s one of the most untrue expressions that has ever been passed along in life. Words damage people, and some so badly, they never fully recover. God tells us that learning to communicate effectively is what makes us perfect meaning complete and mature. James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”
Far too many people say whatever comes to mind. Those people fall into the Not Too Bright category! The opposite of that is where wisdom lies. There is much that passes through our thought-life that we should never say. Proverbs 14:3 (NLT) “A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.”
The mind should be filtered in the same way people use a filter to purify water. As you learn God’s Word, the Holy Spirit gives you discernment that teaches and guides you to cast down wrong thoughts and restrain wrong thinking and damaging words. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” It is only then that your mind, thoughts and words work in harmony to speak words that produce life and blessing. This process protects us from the danger spoken of in Proverbs 29:20 NLT. “There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.”
Renee and I are the parents of four adult children, each one graduated from college, each one married, and all have children. They are our children but they are also adults. Of course we have thoughts and opinions about decisions they make. Most of them in our view have been fabulous. But there is always the occasional time we may not agree with a decision they’ve made. As a parent, the temptation to say something is often there. But when a decision is not destructive, or evil, or one that will hurt them or others, then we have no right to give our opinion. It’s their life. Unless they ask us what we think, it’s not our business to interfere. I loved this about my parents.
Thought they had very strong opinions, they never dumped them on us or interfered in our decisions or life. They prayed for us and supported us because they realized that we could figure out our life without their opinions.
Words, opinions, random thoughts—the mind is filled with them. God will help us to discern those that are appropriate to say and those that should never be spoken and maybe even cast down from our thought life. As He does and as we heed his advice, we become more and more mature and complete —“the perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” He helped me walk closer toward that goal this morning. He guided me through what I should and shouldn’t say! Thank you Lord!
Proverbs 13:3 (MSG) “Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt