It’s a warzone out there.
And many of us don’t know what to do about it. It seems no matter what one says or does, he or she can be accused of being on the wrong side. Everything seems political—it’s either left or right.
As Christ-followers, what’s our place in all of the chaos?
I think the words of Joshua still ring loud and clear.
“…choose today whom you will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Brothers and sisters, our side is with Jesus Christ.
Jesus is our model on how to navigate turbulent times. It would serve us well to remember that Jesus came to serve. He humbled Himself for the sake of others.
But we must not mistake humility for silence.
It seems that our fear of man has kept some of us from standing up. It’s as if the church is shell-shocked from the spiritual battles that are so blatantly in our face.
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised by the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)
We’ve allowed the unrest in our nation to render us inoperable. My friends, this is not our purpose, our mission.
Jesus spoke the truth in love. And so should we.
However, we also must know when and if to speak and what to say. Saying whatever pops in our heads can be catastrophic. Good grief, we see evidence of this all across social media and in the news.
So, Christians must guard our tongues while still speaking the truth in love. In these times, it sounds a lot like walking on a tight rope. And it would be if we didn’t have the Holy Spirit.
How to Guard Our Tongues in Turbulent Times While Staying Courageous for Christ
People desperately want to be heard and valued. When we listen, we are communicating. That’s right—not all communication is verbal.
When we really take the time to listen to someone, we are communicating you matter, you are valuable, your opinion matters.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
We must listen to the Holy Spirit to know when and if it’s time to speak. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Helper. (John 15:26) The Helper will guide us into all the truth, convicting us of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16: 8-15)
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26
Basically, it would be foolish to open our mouths without first listening to the Spirit.
Just because we are Christians, doesn’t mean we know everything.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard non-Christians say how annoying it is that Christians think they know it all. A know-it-all attitude is a turn-off.
Christians don’t know it all. We simply know the One who does know it all.
But how well we know Him is on display for the world to see. What do they see when they look at you and me?
This Christian life is something we are supposed to be growing in. Friends, that means we have a lot to learn.
“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” ~ Albert Einstein
God can and does use non-Christians. The Bible is full of examples. This means we can learn from others no matter their religion, sex, skin pigmentation, age, lifestyle choice, or whatever.
The source of all wisdom and knowledge is found in God. So, everything must be filtered through Him and His Word.
In order to learn a skill, we must be willing to learn. As Christians, we must learn to guard our tongues in submission to God.
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
Learning is growing. This is how we grow in our faith: spend time in the Word of God, prayer, worship, and service.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
Jesus loved and loves each person enough to die for them. As Christ’s ambassadors, we are called to love like Him. God created each of us to love and be loved.
When people see our loving spirits, then we have their attention. It is then that we can courageously speak the truth in love. Remember, what we say must be motivated by love. What we say should be to build up and not to teardown.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
Our words should be beneficial to the hearers of those words.
The world is watching and listening to Christians. What are they seeing and hearing from Christ’s church?
By Beckie Lindsey
Words matter. They can bring us together, or they can make us scatter.
Words are power. They can make you stand strong, or they can make you cower.
Words are flying like bullets in the streets—across the airways, and in cyberspace.
Do they make you weep?
Do you hear them? Whizzing by your head? Like a heat-seeking missile
Satisfied only when you’re dead?
What should we do with these words in our heads?
Maybe some of them should never be said.
Lord, help us guard our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Perhaps Your wisdom and restraint are what we need.
Oh, but let us not be silent about Jesus and His great commission.
Let us not be sidetracked from our purpose and mission.
Yes, teach us, Lord, to love You and others with our hearts, minds, and might.
Give us the courage to stand up for what’s right.
For we know that we will give an account for every idle word we say
When the Lord Jesus Christ returns on that glorious day.
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