“Oh be careful little lips what you say”
I remember singing that little tune when I was a kid. My mother use to use it to remind me to think, before I spoke. That lesson has stuck with me for many years, and I still utilize it to this very day, especially when it comes to social media.
One of the things I try to do diligently in my daily life, is act (and respond to others) like Jesus would. I often wonder, how difficult it must have been for him to quell his tongue, and show love to all those people who were hating, on him and doing him wrong? How could he possibly have asked God to forgive those that hung him on the cross? Most folks would be cussing and screaming. Not Jesus. Even in his most difficult instant, he continued to be, just who he said he was.
I want to love like that.
I mean, really. I want to be that person that responds and acts with love, even when someone is doing me wrong.
I was leafing through the scriptures last night following a rough day at work, and I found some teachings from Romans that kinda hit me between the eyes.
The Danger of Criticism
14 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.
5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. 6 Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. 7 For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
10 So why do you condemn another believer[a]? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.[b]’”
12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
In this scripture, Paul is teaching us how to respect and respond to differences between us and other believers. But a lot of these writings could be directed to folks that are non believers as well. As a matter of fact, I think we should be held to a higher standard when we find ourselves in a situation of disagreement with a non believer. Remember, our lives may be the only glimpse of Jesus they ever have.
Look at the last paragraph Paul writes here. He reminds us that no matter what, each of us will “Give a personal account to God.”
So, regardless how we are treated by people here on this planet, in the end, God is going to ask us, why we made the decisions that we made. Including, how we respond to the actions of other people. See, even if someone else does us wrong, we are responsible for how we respond. I must admit, I have been pretty frustrated these last few days. But I am trying to think thoroughly, before responding with anger and frustration. All that does is escalate the situation.
1. Stop. Take a deep breath. Move on to #2.
2. Think before you respond.
3. Remember that you represent Jesus.
4. Respond like he would, even when it’s tough.
Don’t let the enemy twist your thinking. It takes a second to speak a harsh word, but years to take it back.
“Oh be careful little lips what you say. Oh be careful little lips what you say. For the father up above, is looking down in love. Oh be careful little lips what you say.”
What do you think?
Till next week,