Pastor’s Desk July 13th

Scripture Passage:  “A fool utters all his mind: but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards.”     Proverbs 29:11

Dear Friends,

     Have you ever heard someone say, “I feel like giving that person a piece of my mind?”  I remember many years ago my daddy telling me, “Just tell them off and be done with them.”  I told him I could not do that because I am a preacher and teacher and watched by the community.  Regardless of what I would say, it would be misrepresented, misinterpreted and embellished to the point it would only taint my reputation.  Over the years I feel some have labeled me weak because I did not put people in their place.  That is the farthest thing from the truth.  The only thing I fear is God. To shame him or cause His church to receive a bad name has caused me to bite my tongue and endure many tongue lashings.  For someone to label me as a hypocrite or “hot head” and run down my good name makes my blood boil. So I can blow up and get it all out or put a lid on it and sit and simmer.  Neither one is a good option for me.  I am by nature an encourager and a peacemaker.  I have always tried to find peaceful solutions and fix problems behind the scenes without making a big deal out of it.  For this to take place, there has to be a willingness to compromise or people have to agree to disagree and move on.  If that does not take place the end is near.

     Our Scripture passage for today assures us that only a fool runs their mouth.  James says that a man who is able to bridle his tongue is the complete package and one who can bridle the whole body.  One who does not is compared to the fires of hell.  They inflame everyone they come in contact with.  After a while even their friends lose respect and no one listens anymore to what they have to say.  So what is the answer? 

     The Apostle Paul says it his way, “Having done all to stand, stand therefore!”   Ephesians 6:13-14  We should do everything possible to find peaceful solutions.  Prayer should take place, godly counsel should be sought out and differences should be ironed out.  If these take place, most of the time a god honoring compromise occurs.  If one side or the other refuses to budge then an impasse occurs and relationships are severed.  Jesus says, “If they will not listen, shake the dust off your feet and move on.  Matthew 10:14   Paul preached in many cities on his missionary journeys.  If a small group listened, he stayed and built a church. (Not a building by the way.)  If they would not listen, then he packed up and moved on.  In each of his church epistles he warned them about listening to people who undermined his authority.  They would have to decide for themselves who was telling the truth and what each person’s motives were.  The answer is always found in the one that glorifies Christ and is supported by Scripture.  

     The KJV used different wording than other translations.  It says, “But a wise man keeps it in till afterwards.”  After what?  My mother is one of the godliest people I know.  I trust her wisdom and advice.  She has always taught me to be careful what I say and do.  “A word spoken in haste or anger may produce dire consequences.  It is better to never say something and then have to go back and apologize for it.  She also said, “It will all come out in the wash.”  Everything eventually does.  The dirt, grease, manure, and sweat separates form the garment and what is left is pure and clean.  Time and eternity always reveals things and people for what they really are.  You can fool some people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.  We cannot fool God anytime.

In Christ,

Pastor Johnny