I read the caption on this pic Sunday morning and I was immediately convicted to write about the four principle embedded in this message. Here are four questions I asked myself:
1.) How many times have I made unsubstantiated assumptions? 2.) How many times have I misjudge a situation before completely understanding all the facts? 3.)How many times have I retaliated and not felt the pain I subjected or inflicted. 4.) How many times have I spoken out without given any consideration to the weight and sharpness of your words?
Let’s be honest, we have all struggled with at least one or more of these negative reactions in our lives.
Prayerfully, this message will help you to differentiate between the appropriate response rather than an inappropriate reaction.
Let’s begin with the first reaction listed above and we will go from there.
Before you assume:
Truth be told, it is very easy to make assumptions without even realizing it. We have the propensity to make assumptions based on appearances, things said, things seen, from what we hear, and incomplete statements. Do you realized that making assumptions about others reveals more about what’s in your heart than it does about the other person? Assumptions reflects us, they uncover what’s inside of us. Case and point assumptions opens the door to self-righteousness, gossip, bitterness and fuels pride and anger. Proverbs 18:2 exclaims, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Before you judge:
If I had a dollar for every time someone said the bible says don’t judge! Well, John 7:24,51 sets the record straight. V24 says, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” and V51 says, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing…”
Before you hurt someone:
I don’t think God can make it any clearer! Romans 12:19 is relatively easy is to understand. Paul said, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Now, Before you insert the knife in your neighbor’s, chest, first imagine inserting that same knife your chest. Does this sound painful? Just because someone wrongs doesn’t give you free reign to clap back at them and it certainly doesn’t mean God is going to repay them with the same pain they caused you! Remember, God don’t do evil. In fact, He may love on that person until they see the error in their ways enough to repent. Never forget, God chasten with love not hate!
Before you speak:
Now for the camel’s back breaking nail. We all need to tame the dragon that sits behind our ivory bars. Now this scripture we articulate correctly but we under value its importance. Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death.” In your spare time read James 3:1-12. However, In verses 9-12 we recognize that the inconsistencies of the tongue is rooted in its source. Additionally, Paul zeroes in on the sins of the tongue in Rom. 3:13-14: “Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps [venomous] is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness….”
In closing, the right response will always lead to healing. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”
I believe that in all cases, it does us good to give every person the benefit of the doubt. It is something I continue to learn. As I grow closer to Christ, I realize that not everything is as it appears. Even if some may call me naive or dumb because I like to see and think the best of everyone, I’d rather be right with God and please Him than to please man. God has commanded us to do good to others and love them without reproach. Staying away from making hastily reactions is just the beginning to loving our neighbor. In His response to what is the greatest commandment Jesus said in Matthew 22:36-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”