Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oops! I Didn't Mean It!

Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 says "Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words. [The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Ec 5:2-3]

Have you ever been quick to speak? Have you ever said something and wished that you could erase the minds of everyone who heard it? Sometimes we speak before we think and the results are devastating. Our commitment behind our words can also be hurtful. If we promise that we will meet a friend at a certain time or place and either don't show or are late, what message does that give? It says this meeting is not a priority to us and the other person becomes a victim to that issue.

These verses go on to say, likewise, in your heart don't utter anything quickly before God. They further state that God is in heaven and you are on earth. Do we think that because we do not physically see God that our words and promises do not mean as much as they would to a close friend? When we talk to God we need to communicate what we earnestly desire. God knows your true desire behind your words. He knows this because He knows our hearts. The Message translation says:

Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better. Overwork makes for restless sleep. Overtalk shows you up as a fool. [Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Ec 5:2-3]

Have you ever known someone who couldn't stop talking? They talked about everything. You realized that the more they talked the less they knew. Solomon also warns us to beware of word play. He said that a fool's voice is known by their many words. In other words, don't open your mouth just to be heard.

The following quote is attributed to George Eliot. "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Actually if you do a Google search, you will find that quote attributed to multiple people. This idea actually came from the Bible long before any of those people quoted it. 

Proverbs 17:28 says:
Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. [The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Pr 17:28]

Not only should our words to others be kept in check but our proclamation to God should not be foolishness as well. Too often we belittle God in our words. We make promises to God, and never back them up. We act as if we are in charge and it doesn't matter what we say. Remember God is in charge, not you. When you make promises to God, they should be true, wholehearted, and forever. Solomon says; when you make a vow to God, follow through with it.

Over the years I have realized we are a visual generation. We see it, we like it, and then we buy it. We leave the store and walk past another store window and we forget what we just bought. We see something new and desire to have it too. Sadly we do the same with our promises to God. We say yes to God and then before long something else grabs our attention and we find ourselves failing in our original promises.

If you know that you need a savior and you choose to believe and repent, then you should not desire anything that will take the place of God. If the Spirit calls you into ministry or missions, don't say yes in haste and then never follow through. This illustrates to God that you are not serious. Our promise to God should be met with payment. If not, "sorry I did not mean it" will not get it. God will judge accordingly.

Solomon goes on to say "fear God". We need to change our perspective of who God is. React accordingly. It is not about you, it is about Him who made you. God is the rock, the firm foundation of our salvation. Why would we want to be anywhere else?

Committed to Him,
Doug Johnson

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