Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Discreet Devotion

             I opened my mouth and out came something that didn’t need to be said. I gave my opinion and what I believed to be true and it resulted in a back and forth debate that probably caused some anger and frustration to arise. It bothers me to think that my belief, or my opinion would cause this person to become angry or to become upset with me, but I believe it did and now I wonder if I should have said anything at all.
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             Ever since I was a little girl I have always been a talker. My mom and dad had a CB radio when I was a little girl and my handle was “Motor Mouth”. I never stopped talking then and even now, I talk much more than I should. I even talk in my sleep. Over the years, this mouth of mine has gotten me into some pretty deep waters and has caused me to hurt others in more ways than one. But, it has also been a vessel for God to encourage others and to speak the truth of His word. My mouth is not all bad, I just need to learn how to use it!
             My prayer today was that God would give me wisdom to filter that which comes out of my mouth. Often I speak before I think, and someone gets offended. I am a very bold and courageous sort of person anyway, so for me it is a little too easy to say what’s on my mind. Unfortunately, that can cause a rift in a relationship fast. What I need is a lesson in discretion.
             “My son, do not lose sight of these- keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble.” Proverbs 3:21-23 ESV
             I need to keep sound wisdom, and to do that means I need to watch what I say. Keeping sound wisdom means that we guard what we know and we share it and speak it when the time is right. Not everyone is ready to hear my view point nor is everyone ready to understand where I am coming from. I am reminded of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2 when he tells the Corinthians that he has “decided to know nothing among {them} but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” It is easy for me to start talking about Jesus with someone and expect them to be on the same spiritual level that I am. I automatically assume that since I have learned it, they should know it. But not everyone is on the same level of maturity that I am on. Some are new Christians, just a few weeks or few years old. Others are much older than I and probably know a whole lot more than me. But, since I do not keep sound wisdom, I just assume they know Jesus like I know Jesus and jump right into my thoughts with them.
             I must listen to the people I am communicating with first so I that I can understand where they are spiritually. They may not be ready to handle meat yet and still need milk. They may be off the milk and I can then discuss meat. But unless I keep watch over the wisdom I have been given, my words will become like sounding brass and clanging symbols, no longer speaking the truth in love, but in arrogant assumption that they should just know. I must keep watch, and guard what I want to say until I understand where they are at.
             James tells us that we must “be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). We must use discretion when we are communicating with one another. If we do not listen to what they are saying we will not be able to discern where they are spiritually, and that results in anger and frustration. Now, I do agree that we are not responsible for the way someone reacts or responds to the truth. For instance, if you speak the truth in love to your brother or sister and they respond in rejection or anger, that is between them and God. We are not responsible for how people respond, but we are responsible for how we deliver it.
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             My relationship with this person will be strained for a few days most likely. And I am sorry that it had to happen. But, on the other hand, I have learned the need for discretion in my conversation. Everyone does not need to know my opinion and my viewpoints on certain aspects of theology. Some people are not ready to hear the truth, and that needs to be okay with me. However, it is my responsibility as a child of God to make sure I listen to whom I am speaking with and know where they are spiritually before I dive in head first and assume they are ready to hear it. We should never hold back the truth, that would be against God and His command to us. But, we need to be good listeners and wise stewards with the truths He has given us. Be mindful of those to whom you are in relationship with. Be discreet and love them enough to speak to them on their level, not on yours. Opinions are not recorded in the Bible, because God is not concerned with your opinion, He is only concerned with the truth. Maybe less of my opinion and more of His truth will keep these moments from happening all over again.

As the saying goes, so it becomes my prayer- Lord, put Your arm around my shoulder, and Your hand upon my mouth! In Jesus Name, Amen!