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In the culture that we live in we often receive an overload of information. We have so many resources from books, television to the internet. All these are good and helpful, but can sometimes also be confusing especially since there are so many different opinions around. We gain so much knowledge and I often think that it is quite important to know what to say when. We often have so much to say, because we have so much information in our heads. The wrong words or right words at the wrong time can really hurt someone. I’m not saying that we should compromise, tiptoe around every person or conform to every other person’s view, but rather be wise and be led by the Holy Spirit when we speak.
It is so temping to just blurt out the answer or your view or what you have experienced lately and this can often leave someone with the wrong feeling of discouragement or hurt. We want to speak life into people’s lives and be supportive or helpful, not destructive. Often this takes self-control from our side and requires us to be sensitive to the needs of the people that we are speaking to.
We often have no idea what God is doing in someone else’s heart and what that person is going through. They are also on a journey with God and we need to meet them where they are at, not bombard them with knowledge which they won’t understand or just give our opinion because we can. Especially when their problem is vague and they are not sure what the root of the issue is. It is better to pray and ask God for clarity, instead of sending the person on a tangent, because you think you know what the issue is. It’s not very hard to find issues in ourselves or other people and it can be very tempting to just blurt out their issues which we can spot. This also can be hurtful and not helpful at all.
We need to approach the situation in a mature fashion and if you feel that God is not saying anything, then you also say nothing, rather listen and comfort. We often have a generic list of things which may cause certain issues and emotions and feel tempted to start working through the list to obtain more answers. I have come to realise that when we approach these situations (people) with our own agendas, we often override God and don’t even give Him an opportunity to speak. This is so dangerous, because we immediately approach the situation with a religious mind-set instead of approaching it with insight from the Holy Spirit.
The same principle can be applied when we approach God, sometimes we need to put our agendas aside and just give Him an opportunity to speak. May we approach every situation with guidance from the Holy Spirit and set our own agendas aside and in so doing learn to hear His voice more clearly and help to address the real needs of people around us.
“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.” James 3:3-6
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19