Saturday, March 04, 2017

Those Mouths of Ours. Yikes.

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."   ... James 1:19


From 2010 (and a bit tweaked). Because recently a friend shared an article criticizing  a movie he/she (not gonna say which) had not viewed, a movie taken from a book I loved.

And yes, I can be annoying at times.  I already know this.  :)


Naomi had always enjoyed The Office (the Steve Carell version) and she shared an episode with us years ago. But later I told Tom, "Eh. It was ok, but rather foolish. Kinda Dullsville. And I've never worked in an office so I couldn't identify with much."

But then I gave the show a chance

I watched it more than once (imagine!) and found myself giggling and loving the whole Pam and Jim romance, especially. (Are they adorable or what?) Weekly I became closer acquainted with the characters and wow, I began to care what happens to these people. 

Shocker! All that laughter from a simple homemaker who's never held one office job, night after night while Tom and I sit together, both tired after working all day. 

And once again, God reinforced this lesson: If I wish to be taken seriously--and respected-- online and in real life, I should:

Never criticize a tv show I haven't watched or seen only once (it may have been a bad episode). Viewing tv commercials about upcoming episodes does not count. Uh, no.

Never criticize a movie I haven't seen. Again, viewing previews or studying reviews, even, is not the same as watching and deciding for myself.

Never condemn a book I have not read, not even if my pastor or favorite mentor condemned it after--or even without--reading it, themselves.

Never judge or criticize a church I've not visited or a pastor I've never sat down beside and talked with heart to heart.

Why not? Because condemning what I do not understand (or take the time to view/read), drives non-Christians, especially, wild. Message boards (comment sections) all the time illustrate the terrible way that Christians are spoken about--deservedly--when they speak of things they've never even seen/read/experienced for themselves. And rather than learning from their ignorance/foolishness, these Christians more often recoil and whimper about being persecuted.

Come on, folks. People are watching us. 

They're hoping to glimpse a view of God, Himself, within our eyes, our words, our actions.

Wisdom says, "Hey! Be s-l-o-w to speak, remember? Be wise, speak about your biblical certainties, but only when God nudges."

After all, no where does God say "Let your opinions be made known."

There are differences between truth and opinion. Even the timing of sharing truth is pivotal. And even a lifetime isn't long enough to learn how to always get it perfectly correct.

It's rather like a dance, where--one disastrous move--and everyone drives home remembering that instead of the lovely moments.

And now I think I get why God often tells me, "This time, say nothing. Let it go." For, how tragic to be the one who ruins the dance for everyone else, who makes it harder to get people inside the theater next time.

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."   ... Proverbs 12:18


And yes! Sometimes Conviction will tell me, "Don't even think about checking out that new book/movie/tv show." So I (try to) avoid them.

But then I've noticed, later, Conviction never comes along and says, "Go ahead and talk/teach about those avoided things."

That would be foolishness.


Now, am I giving an all-clear recommendation of The Office? Uh, no. Occasionally Tom and I must turn the channel over to Wheel of Fortune when the characters are speaking of something, well, not-so-nice. 

In this post I just shared what has been a learning experience for me lately.


“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”   ... Luke 2:19

(How much better to be a ponderer than a blabberer!)  :)

"Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
... Benjamin Franklin

“He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.” ...Voltaire



Pam said...

Great post, Debra. It's sure easy for me to judge, criticize, belittle and blame others, but God doesn't need me for those tasks. He made us to love one another---especially those who aren't so easy to love. And when we do the right thing, His blessings are priceless.

Betsy said...

I echo Pam's sentiments. Although, sometimes it's very obvious where evil lies and I do believe we should avoid that if possible, In I Thessalonians 5:22 it says we're to avoid any kind of evil. Sometimes once it's in our brains it's hard to get it out again.
Blessings always my friend,

Debra said...

Pam-- so true! If we'd love and pray for others we'd most likely spend much less time messing up with our tongues and actions. :)

Betsy--yep! And that's why I added what I did about conviction telling me to avoid certain things. We don't have to check out everything, just as I believe we don't have to talk about those things we've not seen, either. That's more foolishness than wisdom--and leads to people not taking us seriously.

Thanks, Ladies! Blessings, Debra