Be Careful, Little Mouth
Read Isaiah Chapter 29
Isa 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men.
Ecc 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 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.
I am preaching to myself today. I feel a huge sense of responsibility when I am working on these devotionals. The last thing I wish to do is to teach “rules taught by men.” With that in mind, please know that I have carefully selected the words, praying that there is nothing written which is incorrect. But even when that is done, there remains a possibility that some thought will be misstated or misunderstood. As I have reread some which were written long ago, I have found myself clarifying and even changing some of them to make them more understandable and more difficult to misinterpret. Additionally, I have had to retire some because God has shown me that they contained some errors. I know that I am not infallible.
There is also this warning in the New Testament.
Jas 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
This passage scares me at times. I don’t really want to be judged more strictly, but at least it makes me aware that it is an enormous responsibility. The passage from Isaiah and the one from Ecclesiastes warn us against being too eager to speak and teach. If a person is teaching only rules taught by men, his words are useless. There is another danger. All of us have heard the stories of preachers and teachers who have been caught doing the very things they warn against. I am just as vulnerable as any of you. Please keep me in your prayers.
The passage from Ecclesiastes will express today’s thoughts even better. We should spend a lot more time listening to God speak to us than the amount of time we spend expressing our thoughts and opinions. The writer implores us to “go near to listen,” “do not be quick with your mouth,” and “do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.” There are way too many who are quick to offer opinions and far too few who carefully think things out before speaking. I don’t want to be one of those.
Here is our application to SSA. As we express our thoughts about homosexuality and its behaviors, we must be extremely careful that what we say is completely in agreement with God’s word. That’s the only way we can avoid teaching error.
Prayer: Lord, we (I) need Your constant presence to prevent us from spouting off things about which we have no knowledge. Teach us by Your Spirit, and remind us that we must come to You to listen, not to speak.