I am the Queen of the Big Mouth, at least I was. Hey, sanctification is a process. I am the person who thought that if it was true, then I should say it. I am also the person who believed that I always had all the answers. You can see how these two beliefs would get me in trouble.
As I grow and mature and move forward in my walk with Christ, I am learning that I don’t always have the voice that needs to be heard.
Five things I wish I didn’t say
Here are five statements I wish I had not ever made, in no particular order, however you’re welcome to rate them.
Yes (when I wanted to say, No)
It is so easy to say yes and be a people-pleaser but we don’t need to participate in all the things. If we do, what happens? We over-extend ourselves and live a life of chaos. This is such a distraction. The enemy of your soul wants to get you so focused on pleasing man that you don’t please God. He will get you so busy that you are not productive. You are always late, nothing gets finished, you are completely overwhelmed and then what happens? You just quit. Don’t let this be you. Be honest. If the answer is no, then let it be no.
“God won’t give you more than you can handle. Suck it up.”
I said this more than once in my immaturity. Here is what Scripture actually says in 1 Cor 10:13: The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
God’s grace is sufficient and it works best in weakness, says St. Paul. He gives us more than we can handle so that we are dependent on Him and He is glorified in the victory. We allow Him to handle. Yes, that’s hard to do.
“I would never _____________”
No matter what you fill in the blank, these words are drenched in finality and eternity. Part of my job is training volunteers to counsel women who are seeking abortions. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard them say to me, “I just don’t understand how a woman could ever have an abortion.” I do not, for any reason, put these people in front of a woman in crisis. If they would stand and tell me this (I have had an abortion myself), I can’t gauge what will come out of their mouth in front of a fearful, abortion-minded woman. These words pierce past scar tissue directly to the heart and create new wounds. We must learn to be compassionate and loving, we don’t ever know the battle that someone is waging.
A better way: start with a testimony of a time when you did something really depraved. This evens the ground and breaks the silence. Many times the Holy Spirit places people in front of us because He wants us to testify to His goodness. It is His goodness that draws people to repentance. When we draw a line with ‘never’ and ‘always’ we exclude or isolate. We separate ourselves from a sinner when we act ‘self-righteous’. Don’t ever forget where you came from.
Anything (when sometimes I just wish I said nothing)
Listening is a ministry. I’m not talking about eavesdropping or gossiping. There are so many times when I wish I had just listened and not said a word. If you listen long enough, you will hear the need. I must submit and surrender my judgments, assumptions, prejudices and experiences and ‘get in their boat’. I have found that as the person confesses the hurt or transgression, the Holy Spirit begins to bring to their remembrance the Truth and they are set free without my “assistance”. Just being present and representing Christ is enough sometimes.
Nothing (when I should have spoken up)
I have watched someone fall deeper into depravity because I was more concerned about whether they would be angry with me than what the Holy Spirit was telling me. If we love our neighbor, we will be an example of Christ’s love. We may not have to say anything, but our actions proclaim boldly the Truth that binds us. If the moment comes when you do need to speak up, don’t stifle the unction of the Spirit. Let Him guide you and get out of the way. Words as smooth as velvet have flowed from my lips and I had no idea where they came from because I allowed Him to use me and be a mouthpiece for God and He got all the glory, really, because I am just not that sweet.