Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Think before you speak; then just keep quiet!

Long gone are the days when a person can simply forget the stupid things they've said or done and move on. Gone are the days when we can distort the truth without somebody "fact checking" our content and accuracy.

While these are well known bits of information, one has to wonder at the competency of those that we elect to serve as public representatives of our government. Politicians want everything they say to be heard, but seem to forget that it is also recorded. It's pretty hard to claim that you never said something when it can be played back for you (and yet, they do this anyways).

I've been blogging for going on ten years now.
I have changed my thinking on some things and have said things that I would no longer defend. That happens over a lifetime. We learn new facts. Our perceptions change. We gain experience and wisdom. We change and sometimes we change our minds.
I'm certain that I believed whatever I wrote at the time I wrote it. That doesn't mean that an older (and hopefully wiser) John still believes or agrees with the younger me.

And that's okay.

I think that anybody that runs for public office is a little crazy. I can't imagine having to answer for everything that I've done in a public forum. The person that you see today isn't the same as the twenty-something kid that would smoke a little pot and get throwing up drunk on occasion. My best defense of some of the stupid things I've done would probably be to just admit that I was once a stupid, immature kid and move on.

In an era where everything that you say is recorded and judged, it seems it would be best to say very little and to only speak words that have been well thought out in advance. I'm glad that few people care about what I say or think. It makes it a lot easier to say nothing when nothing is expected ... and still, great care should be taken before I speak.

I am often surprised at the impact of words that I have spoken or deeds that I have done. There have been times that I later found out that my simple words moved someone and had a positive impact. It makes me fearful and careful for words or deeds that may have a negative impact.

People sometimes think that blunt honesty is a good trait. I used to be that way -- one of those "at least you know where I stand" kind of people. I no longer think that is a good thing. There are some things that we should keep to ourselves.

One of the things that I have learned in the past few years is this:
While as an American I enjoy freedom of speech, as a follower of Jesus, I do not.
There are things that I may have a right to say, but saying them may not be beneficial to anybody and may not glorify God.

There are pastors that are Republicans that keep Democrats (or liberals as they call them) from coming to their churches by the things that they say and post in social forums. Where will they learn about Jesus?
There are preachers that believe (and preach) that you can't drink alcohol and have a Christian world view. What happens to a friend that is looking for a church home for his family but enjoys a beer or owns a bar? Do we send them down the road and wish them luck on that whole heaven/eternal life thing?
It's funny, but I know Democrats that are followers of Jesus
...and I know Republicans that are not.
I know people that drink alcohol that are Christians and people that don't that are not!
I know pro-life Democrats and pro-choice Republicans.
Too often, we forget to keep the main thing (Jesus) as the main thing!

We (as Christians) often have differing opinions on politics or social issues. If that is the hill you want to make your battle about, have at it. But you'll have to fight that fight with somebody else at your side. It's not my fight. Wage your war on Starbucks or alcohol or over political ideals ... but know that while you fight that battle, people are going to hell because you'd rather judge somebody for buying a lottery ticket or having a glass of wine with dinner than to tell them that God loves them and Jesus died for them.

If we (as Christians) agree on eternity through Jesus and Jesus only, shouldn't that be our focus? If we believe that people that die without Jesus are condemned for their unbelief (John 3:18), shouldn't we make it a point to tell them that God sent His Son for them?

If Jesus says to boycott Starbucks or to fight to defund Planned Parenthood -- I'm in!
For now I'm going to go with that go and make disciples thing (Matt28:19-20). You know -- baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them the things I taught -- yeah, that thing.

I'll go back to being quiet now.

John <><

1 comment:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

That was a wise observation, John.