A couple of weeks ago I said I would follow up on the “think” idea, so tonight we are going to get our brains wrapped around two things:
- As Christians, what should we be speaking about?
- What is the first habit from “think” that we should nurture?
There is so much we can talk with one another about. The weather, sports, latest fashions, health trends…and those are fairly safe. Some hotter topics we can discuss are politics, religion, child raising. The topics that give us the most trouble though are the ones that fall into the realm of gossip and idle chit chat. A friend shared this post on idle chatter vs. Godly edification over at the ministry of Leslie Ludy setapartgirl. Now at first it may seem a little over the top, especially to those of us who are more prone to extroversion, but the point that speaks to my heart is that our words should point people (or draw them) to Jesus and none other.
Have you ever walked away from a visit and felt it was hollow and unfulfilling? Those moments may have been filled with idle chitchat. Have you ever walked away from a visit and felt edified and encouraged? Chances are those moments were moments that the conversation and activity glorified the Lord. I know when I am not making time to connect with my friends our conversations in passing just aren’t as fulfilling as when we are able to sit over a cup of tea and speak of what the Lord is doing in our lives. Conversations in passing have the filling of a treat, and we are all hungry for the meal. If there was a mark to shoot for in choosing our conversations, and our company, then it would be to have them both glorify the Lord.
Please don’t misunderstand me. Not all moments will be filled with songs of praise, we can glorify the Lord simply by fulfilling the callings of wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, friend, child, coworker, etc…in lives fully submitted to the Lord. Every other word doesn’t have to be Lord or Jesus. And we don’t want to treat people as though they are projects we are working on either. Obviously, I am struggling with my words, but let’s read what Paul says:
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
EPHESIANS 4:25, 29-32
This brings me to the question of truth. The first habit we need to develop in “think” is that of asking the question, “IS IT TRUE?”
Some of the definitions from Webster’s for “true” are:
- “agreeing with the facts: not false”
- “real or genuine”
- “being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed.”
Is it the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Is it embellished, you know, add a little flair for drama or emphasis…turning truth into legend? Is it a downright lie to cover over our own wrong doing? Is it worded in such a way as to paint the guilty/innocent parties in a bad/good light? If it isn’t the truth, unaltered and pure, then we shouldn’t be sharing. We should probably go so far as to say, if it isn’t OUR truth, good or bad, we shouldn’t share it…we can weigh that more as we dive into the other habits of “think”.
For now, let’s finish with a final thought from Paul:
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
My hope is to get us thinking on this and prayerfully considering what comes out of our mouths. Our words have power.
I don’t write as one who has all this figured out, but am chasing after His Kingdom and righteousness. I fall short of the mark daily but I press on.
"True." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/true>.