Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Scandal’

Every now and then we encounter people who have destroyed their careers and lives simply by something they said. Politicians top this list. Someone will be doing great in their campaigns, and command the attention of their constituency only to say something in a rally that becomes their downfall. Sometimes you get that feeling that some people shouldn’t hold the microphone for more than two minutes. Other times we hear stories of people who were about to win a court case and then threw in a detail that changed everything. Our words can fight for us but so often they fight against us. But while politicians can deny what their tongue said preachers are even more vulnerable in this area.

Our words can fight for us but so often they fight against us.

Public ministry is a dangerous place to be because building a reputation takes years and yet destroying it only takes a few words thrown here and there. More is expected of those who lead and yet they are as human as any of us. The Bible says those who speak regularly are vulnerable to sin more frequently with their tongue, Proverbs 10:19. Those of us who love sharing our opinions on social media are vulnerable in sinning with our mouths and typing fingers. Speaking is the tool of the preacher but he needs to be careful it doesn’t become a weapon forged against him. So how do we guard our mouths without faking it until we make it?

Feed Your Heart Intentionally

The word tells us that it’s from the heart that we speak, see Luke 6:45. What comes out of the mouth is evidence of the food of our mind. We speak what we believe and when cornered what we truly believe. Some people are able to separate what they believe and what they need to say. They know exactly what to say in a particular context. But so often what’s hidden within tends to come to the surface. It’s worse for those who speak more regularly. Pretence will work for some time but soon the truth will come out.

The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the failings of its human characters and the true nature of man. But it invites us to the transformation of the Gospel.

But instead of this hard double life the word frees us to know that God knows us truly and yet has called us fully. The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the failings of its human characters and the true nature of man. But it invites us to the transformation of the Gospel. We are capable of a lot worse than we imagine but the Gospel is capable of changing us more than we would ever dream of. The remedy isn’t hypocrisy but continually feeding our hearts with the food and practice of the word. And here I don’t mean just read more Bible passages. I mean take the time to reflect, apply and own the word. Feed your heart with the truth and your mouth will be safe. Let the overflow of your speech be the evidence of what is hidden in your heart, the sweet and precious word of God.

Bridge Public Ministry with Private Life

When we read the Gospels we tend to side with the sinners who come to Jesus more than we do Pharisees. Why? Because we all hate hypocrisy and we can see it so clearly in others. Those in public ministry have a private life that can ruin or build their ministry. We are not expected to be perfect but we shouldn’t be hypocrites living a double life. Our private life left unchecked will influence our public ministry. Our hearts will betray our tongues or we’ll always pick and choose what to teach.

Instead, the man of God has to learn to be God’s student number one. He doesn’t stand as God’s lawyer but as his keen student who knows his own need and of those he ministers to. None of his sermons are directed to others. It always begins with him before it flows to beggars like him. If we don’t keep asking God to work in us, if we ignore our desperate need for the meal of the word then we’ll inevitably become hypocrites. Our mouths will teach what we don’t believe and soon our tongues will betray us.

Watch Your Tongue and Typing Fingers

We speak to such a diverse audience these days. When you post on social media there’s all kinds of people with different backgrounds and unique context that read your post. It’d be better if we had more opportunity to speak the truth to fewer people in a specific place and setting. But while we should do that more regularly still we’ll find ourselves having to speak to a more general audience. If you like writing like me then you know your audience will be even more diverse. For this reason I think we need to be even more careful with our words. Now more than ever we need to watch what we say, how we say it and who we intend to hear if we want to truly influence people with the truth.

We cannot afford to be careless with our words and expect anyone to take us seriously. The sword of truth should be used to dispel lies but not slay our audience. We ought to speak with care and wisdom to protect our audience from our extremes. Haven’t you listened to someone and knew what they were saying was important but the way they did it made you dismiss them. Sometimes I see posts on Facebook that makes me feel the author needed to take a glass of water to cool down first. How can we be expected to help others if we cannot control ourselves. Keyboard warriors need to be warned of their sinful hearts masquerading as defense for the truth. By all means we should speak the truth all while watching our hearts and controlling our tongues.

Read Full Post »