Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sometimes I Just Need to Shut Up - Psalm 73

If there is one lesson that God has continually been trying (emphasis on TRYING) to teach me, it's that sometimes I just need to shut up. The truth (or my version of the truth, if I'm honest), doesn't always need to be said, and even when it does it's not necessarily my responsibility to be the messenger. And when I do feel compelled to speak, there is a HUGE difference between "speaking the truth in love", and loving to speak the truth. However, even more importantly, sometimes I just need to keep silent. Especially if my words are an emotional reaction to something that pushed a button. I came across this great blog by Mike Leake today and was reminded once again that I can often serve God best by keeping my mouth shut.
In Psalm 73, Asaph is about to burst. 
He’s overwhelmed with confusion, anger and bitterness. Some of it is directed at people—but more than anything else, it is directed at the Lord. 
I’m glad he didn’t have a Facebook account. If he did, he might have put up some vague status that let out a little bit of that anger. Or he might have just let it all rip behind the safety of his computer.
Or maybe he wouldn’t have … 
“If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ I would have betrayed the generation of your children.” 
That is Asaph’s way of saying, “I told myself to shut up. I didn’t express my feelings. Because my battle with bitterness and doubt would have caused harm to the faith of others. I love your kids, so I shut my mouth.” 
Have you ever considered that your little Facebook rants might be harming the faith of others? 
Is it possible that they see all the bitterness seeping through your post and wonder how in the world this matches all those “likes” on those Jesus photos?
Or forget Facebook for a moment. Giving full vent and expression to your bitterness harms the faith of others no matter the context. 
(Read the rest of his blog here) 
"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." James 1:19-20

A very wise man once told me,"The truth is not always the word of the Lord, but the word of the Lord is always the truth." Translation: Just because it is truth does not mean that it is what God wants expressed at this moment, but what God wants to say in this moment is always truth. The next time you are tempted to react to something emotionally and "speak the truth", stop and ask the Lord, "Is this what You want said by someone who is Your ambassador? Is this Your word for this moment, and for these people?" I think we would all be blessed if we did, and I'm pretty certain that everyone else would be too.

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