When to Keep Quiet

Learn to be quiet:

  1. When you are angry – Proverbs 14:7 “A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.”
  2. When you don’t have all the facts – Proverbs 18:13 “To answer before listening—that is folly and shame.”
  3. When you haven’t verified the story – Deuteronomy 17:6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.
  4. When your words might offend a weaker brother – 1 Corinthians 8:11 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.
  5. When your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends and family – 1 Peter 2:21-23 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.22 He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
  6. When you are tempted to joke about sin – Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.
  7. When you would be ashamed of your words later – Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
  8. When you are tempted to make light of holy things-Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
  9. When your words might give the wrong impression – Proverbs 17:27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.
  10. When the matter is none of your business – Proverbs 14:10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,and no one else can share its joy.
  11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie – Proverbs 4:24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
  12. When your words might damage someone’s reputation – Proverbs 16:23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.
  13. When your words might destroy a friendship – Proverbs 25:25 Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
  14. When you are feeling critical – James 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.
  15. When you are emotionally involved and can’t speak without yelling – Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
  16. When it is time to listen – Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.
  17. When you may have to eat your words later – Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
  18. When you have already said it more than one time (then it becomes nagging) – Proverbs 19:13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
  19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person – Proverbs 24:21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials,
  20. When you are supposed to be working instead – Proverbs 14:23 Proverbs 14:23

Proverbs 21:23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

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No Room for Sin Nobilis

James 2:1-7

In the Roman Empire, the clothes and the jewelry you wore were very important.  Slaves at one point came to understand this significance.  Some of them saved money they received from their work and bought clothes so they would appear to be of the noble class.  This took on a new look when they began to slip into parties of the wealthy Roman noblemen.  The designer clothes and jewelry they wore caused them to blend in with the noble class.  They took this role imitation to the next level as they endeavored to “out noble” the nobles.  The inevitable finally took place.  Some were recognized for who and what they were.  In their frustration with this annoying problem the noblemen labeled the slaves who participated in the role imitation, “sin nobilis,” which translated means “without nobility.”  The expression became so common that it was shortened to “sin nobes.”  The term endured the ravages of time and is still used today.  We speak of people who put on airs and try to appear to be better than others as “snobs.”

This is, of course, one of the major problems with the class system in many cultures.  People assume the role of being superior to others.  Only when all are recognized as equally valuable in God’s sight can we hope for some degree of normality.  Whether it be through the paradigm of a caste system, or preferential treatment, partiality toward one over another is destined to breed anger, contempt, hatred, rebellion, and worse.  What Christians can glory in is that the ground at the foot of the cross is level.  God sees us all as people needing forgiveness, divine love, and righteous guidance.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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Giving a Bouquet

Romans 12:17-21

The mischievous boy saw her coming.  He shrank deeper into the shadows.  A cruel grin broke his hardened face.  She was his classmate.  She seemed to think she was better than he . . . at least, the fact that she didn’t seem to recognize his existence told the same.

Today the girl had been sent on an errand of mercy by her mother.  This was common for they were good and compassionate people.  She was wearing a spotless white dress.  She walked carefully to avoid the puddles from the shower of last evening.  In her arms was a bouquet picked just that morning from their flower garden.   She was on her way to the home of a grieving widow hoping to bring cheer during this time of distress.

The boy slipped from tree to tree favoring their deep shadows.  She seemed to not realize that the boy had become her shadow.  Just as she neared her destination the boy saw his moment of opportunity.  Scooping up a handful of mud from a nearby puddle he hurled it at his target.

With elation he saw the beautiful white gown ruined with the mud splatter of his missile.  She stopped dead in her tracks and then slowly turned face her attacker.  Her lips trembled as she fought to hold the tears in check.  Then to his surprise she smiled and stepping forward placed the bouquet in his arms.

His head dropped in shame.  He had come to intimidate.  He desired to hurt.  Instead he had met a peacemaker face to face.  His defensive facade was shattered.  It seemed as if the music made by the rustle of the leaves stirring in the breeze was saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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