Say No to Knee-Jerk
Monday, April 30, 2018
A fool gives full vent to this spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
There is a time to keep silence, and a time to speak (Eccl. 3:7). Wisdom is knowing which is which. The fool doesn’t know, or doesn’t care. A fool gives full vent to his spirit. And the world enables him. The world says, “speak your mind;” the world says, “get it out (you’ll feel better);” the world says, “let ‘em have it!” God says, fool.
Of course, there are times to speak—when silence itself would be sin. Jeremiah wanted to stop prophesying, but he couldn’t—there is in my heart as it were a burning fire (Jer. 20:7-9). But it’s the mark of maturity to hold your tongue—a wise man quietly holds it back. He holds back his spirit, that is—the vehement impulse to give his opinion, answer an insult, express his outrage, win an argument, parade his knowledge, get some attention, or just say something to be saying something.
The urge to let loose is a gut reaction. So next time that impulse tries to force its way out of your mouth, ask yourself—“why?” Why the urgency? Do you feel slighted, accused, belittled, disrespected, ignored, misunderstood, insulted, misjudged, made fun of, or taken advantage of?
The knee-jerk response is never wise. Know this, said the noble Pastor James, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
Welcome to Christ Church this Lord’s Day. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice (Ps. 37:30).
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