On being Thoughtful and Prudent
We live in a world where everyone puts all or most of their thoughts online for a wide variety of people to read and to respond to. Then, those that respond feel that they can say or add whatever is on their mind. Some of these thoughts put down in word for all to see have had no preparation, planning or perspective given to them. They come just off the cuff and many, many times are very damaging.
This should not be said of those who believe in God. He has called us to be thoughtful and prudent about all we say and do.
We don’t have to put out into the world all of our thoughts or opinions on matters. Especially, if it’s a reaction to a post, an incident or an opinion.
“The preparations of the heart in a man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:1-3
Check Your Heart
In all matters and in all ways, we have to check our hearts before we express our thoughts. If we have ill feelings toward another, is it wise to express those feelings? Is it wise to spread your thoughts about someone or something in a negative manner that for the most part doesn’t help a situation?
If we have certain thoughts that are not positive toward someone or an issue we need to understand why? Do we fully understand the person or the situation? Have we examined it from all sides. Does our opinion on a situation that may have nothing to do with us help? If we don’t get along with someone, could we be part of that cause?
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right. A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. ” Proverbs 16: 7-9
When we as believers are interacting in this world, we have to remember that we first represent God. It is His reputation that we are to guard. Those who don’t believe want to quickly find fault so that they can prove their point of view about God – through those who claim to believe and to follow Him.
First We Need to be Thoughtful
When we become involved in a situation, we need to be thoughtful of our words and actions. We need to make sure how we talk to people and how we present ourselves is in a way that honors God. We also need to truly think of the needs of others first. In other words, we need to be and act like Jesus Christ. He came not seeking His own will, but that of the Father’s and He came to redeem those who could not pay the price for their sins. He was the innocent. The only ones Jesus condemned were those who professed to know God’s word and to profess to live and follow those words. He could see their hearts and motives and knew they were hypocrites.
“The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:23 – 25
Are our words pleasant? Are our words instructive? Are our words helpful? Or, are they words that cut and leave wounds? If we have to interject ourselves into a matter, we should first fully understand that matter and know whether it is wise for us to add to the conversation or to simply listen and learn.
If we can be of help to anyone, we definitely should do it. If our words and actions can clarify a situation, we should definitely interject. If, however, we cannot help someone or move forward positively a situation, I believe it is wise to wait. Perhaps down the road we can add our thoughts – if and when we’ve looked at a situation, thoughtfully and have behaved prudently. If our words and actions can help a situation, then, we should and could become part of the conversation.
As we are in this world Jesus told us to become salt and light. Salt adds flavor and salt heals. Light reveals what’s there and pushes away doubt, fear and misunderstanding.
We are called to attempt to walk and to talk like Jesus. He knows the hearts of men, he knows what they really need. If we study a situation, pray for wisdom, discernment and clarity of mind. If we yield our hearts and minds to the LORD, then if it’s worthwhile we can speak to someone or to a situation.