Must you always speak your Mind?
It’s something to hear people talk to each other especially when they feel they have the right to say whatever they feel like saying, dumping all their acid from their heart all over the person. All for the sake of “truth’ and “freedom of expression”. When, what they are saying is just plain rude and hurtful, leaving the person feeling unloved and uncared for. But “they feel good” because they were able to get it all off their chest. But at what cost?
The Bible gives us instruction on how we are to communicate with each other.
In Colossians 4:6 (NIV) it states: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
And in Eph 4:15, it states: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.”
Even though there are many scriptures that speak to this, I thought these two would do fine.
I can speak for myself when I say, It’s easy to point out flaws and problems in others, especially when it’s a spouse or children. But it is so hard expressing those issues without sounding judgmental or critical.
I know as Christians we sometimes feel the need to correct or be the “voice” of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. But this can unfortunately turn us into “the spiritual police” or the “Judge and Jury” and always saying “Guilty”.
I believe this is not what Christ meant when he said, “Let your conversation be always full of grace”,
Grace, as undeserved favor, kindness and forgiveness toward a person. Considering their feelings, their frailties, their issues, their struggles and the fact that they are imperfect just like us.
One scripture I try to live by that helps me to be graceful is in Romans 15:1-NIV: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves.”
It helps me to be patient, understanding and not so desperate to get my feelings heard. We are all at different levels in our walk. We may see all the flaws but what you may not know is how far they have come. Your words can give them hope or give them discouragement. “Death and life is in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)
So should you just say what you want? Should you give someone a piece of your mind?
No, we shouldn’t. I know it’s hard sometimes but we have to take ourselves out of the equation. It’s not about us really! It’s about the Christ in us. The “Truth”. That is why it is very important to pray first, for yourself and that person. Tell Jesus all about it. Allow him to shed his light on the situation. He will give you understanding and guide you on what to do. He may use us to speak for him but it will be based on his truth not ours.
That is where the other scripture come into play, ‘Speak the truth in love…” I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get heard that we forget about this major component, “Love”. Think about it, Love is patient, kind, not prideful, selfless, not vindictive, not faultfinding, peaceable, well behaved, hopeful, persistent, perseveres, protective and rejoices in the truth. (1Corinthians 13: 5-6) I know this is a tall order but it is what is expected as Christians. God says to Love each other, (1 Peter 4:8) “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
Imagine how powerful that would be in a person’s life to know that you care more for them then your feelings about the offense/sin. You care that they receive all their blessings from God and that you want to rejoice with them living in the truth of God.
That is why the bible says to get the beam out of our own eye before we try to remove the speck for our brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5 “paraphrased”)
Our beam is “self”. We can only see clearly when we look through the eyes of Jesus.
So, in closing, If God uses us to speak, we should humbly speak the “mind of Christ” not our own.
May God help us all, is my prayer.
Alexis Smith Byron