Two events you should know about
- The Bible study, Foundations of Faith, begins this week. You may view the teaching video here: https://www.janetdenisonbiblestudy.com/.
- Tomorrow is North Texas Giving Day. Denison Ministries is a donor-based ministry, and your gift would be a blessing to our work. You can give now or tomorrow, and we will use your gift to share Christ with our culture. Thank you for helping us provide a biblical perspective to our world.
Eloquent or efficient?
My husband and I were talking about some amazing quotes from theologians Charles Spurgeon and Dwight L. Moody, who lived almost two hundred years ago.
There is something to be said about the theology and sermons that were written when a person had to use a jar of ink and a blotter to carefully apply a pen to a piece of paper. People used to think carefully before pouring words into the world.
Has eloquence been exchanged for efficiency?
Prolific or profound?
I think the era of computers has enabled Christians to be prolific, but not always profound. I can produce a few hundred words in a short amount of time, and my written mistakes can be corrected by quickly highlighting them and hitting a delete button.
I have often wished my spoken words had that same function.
It seems like our lives are filled with constant programming. Words and opinions fly 24/7 on hundreds of channels and streaming possibilities. I still remember when a person could turn on a television and hear a humming sound while the screen said something like, “We are off the air and will return at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.”
What if our most important and needed thoughts were only discovered in the quiet?
King Solomon said, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19). The New Living Translation of that verse says, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
Most of the people I consider wise are also quiet. Most of the words I have wished to take back were spoken or written in the heat of the moment. And that is the real clue.
Profound thoughts are rarely prolific.
Wisdom has one source
The book of Proverbs begins by stating its purpose: “To know wisdom and instruction . . . to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance” (Proverbs 1:2–5).
The book of Ecclesiastes closes by saying, “The words of the wise are like goads . . . they are given by One Shepherd. . . . beware of anything beyond these” (Ecclesiastes 12:11–12).
We have an ocean of information available to us now, and that is wonderful.
Unless what you really need is that one important grain of truth.
Pastor Rick Warren said, “Many of our troubles occur because we base our choices on unreliable authorities: culture (‘everyone is doing it’), tradition (‘we’ve always done it’), reason (‘it seems logical’), or emotion (‘it just felt right’).”
The reliable authority is God, our “One Shepherd.”
In other words, Google is not God.
Culture is rarely Christian.
Wisdom is rarely wordy or worldly.
Proverbs 4:5 is a command of Scripture, not a suggestion. That verse says, “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.”
God preserved and provided his word so we could “get wisdom” and know how to make godly choices. We have been commanded to speak God’s wisdom over opinions. We have been invited to live in heaven so we should live like heaven is where we belong. We should get wisdom and speak wisely.
It’s our best option today, and, one day in heaven, it will be our only option.
Isn’t that an amazing thought?
In heaven, we will always speak and hear wisdom!
Until heaven, our chance requires a choice
According to an NPR report, you will speak about 16,000 words today. I couldn’t find a study that revealed how many words we hear—but just imagine. We live in a noisy culture.
Every chance we have to speak requires us to choose our words wisely. How many times today will we choose to speak like our “One Shepherd?” How do we make that choice?
Start with this thought from God, through the Apostle Paul: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Let’s turn off the noise and think more often.
Think about the things Paul said.
Most importantly, just give yourself a lot of time, and a lot of quiet, to think.
The chance to speak requires a choice.
I close this blog with one of my favorite verses in Scripture. Isaiah told God’s people how to listen for his voice. The prophet said, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).
This blogger would also suggest, “Think about God’s way and then talk in it.”
Thank you for reading, and, if you are led to, for giving.