Throwing caution to the wind is rarely the best mode of attack to take, especially when everything inside your head and body is telling you otherwise! Yet, we find today's media pages littered with all manner of people "throwing caution to the wind" in incriminating photos, not well-planned posts, and some pretty crazy "rants". I never cease to be amazed at what people will post. I've seen everything from the funniest little kittens tormenting big burly dogs to minions captioned with catchy reminders of the woes of life. In between, I have also seen some not so sweet or kind things. You probably have, too. Watching the news these days is like filling your mind with all manner of hatred, disgusting acts of violence, and just plain unpleasantness. I really listen to the news for the weather, so I would honestly just prefer to look at the app on my phone! As my daughter and I were talking the other day, she mentioned she wasn't sure who'd she vote for in the upcoming election for President of the United States. My advice to her was to wait and pray, because I knew the smear campaigns would mount and the mud-slinging would begin to take on epic proportions, with tons of people offering opinion after opinion about each of the candidates. What is most disappointing is to hear someone show their true colors, then tell the media something entirely different the next day - as though they were trying to "save face". I think this might just reveal a little more about the character of the candidate than he or she really knows!
People sometimes lie to hide their hatred, but saying bad things about someone is even more foolish. (Proverbs 10:18 ERV)
A couple of things I think we can benefit from in our "shares" on social media, public announcements which get recorded for history, and distribution of our opinions for all to hear and see. I think we need to keep in mind the principles taught in Philippians 4:8 which say, "Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected."
- Thinking first often prevents us from saying things we might have done well to not have said. Initiating our conversation with a moment of thought to form our answer may not look like we are very "decisive", but it often shows us to be a whole lot wiser than if we just blurt out the first thing which comes to mind.
- Having some form of "filters" in place through which we run our thoughts or ideas may actually benefit us from just allowing everything "into" our brains and hearts which can "taint" the flow of what comes "out" of them. This may be why we are told to think about what is "true", "honorable", "right", "pure", "beautiful", and "respected". These are filters of sorts. If it isn't true - don't speak it or even entertain it in thought. If it is going to bring honor to someone then it doesn't need to be considered a viable option. If it veers from what God has declared to be right in his Word, then we should just treat it as untruth. If it lacks purity, it isn't worth us embracing for it will make all it touches impure by its presence. If it lacks the qualities which make it see, hear, think, or act upon, it likely isn't beautiful. Lastly, if it isn't revealing the excellence of character which God would want us to exemplify, it isn't to be respected or revered.
- Thinking again often prevents us from heading down a path from which there really isn't much of a positive return! Thinking first may help us to go a different direction, or not even pursue the path all together. Thinking again, after these thoughts have been through the filters outlined above may just keep us on track and consistent in our walk.
We can hide behind lies all of our lives, covering tracks we have made by our misspoken words, misguided deeds, and misplaced affections, but trust me on this - the right path, taken in the right timing, with the right companions won't leave tracks we are afraid to have another follow! All of God's direction is given to affect how it is we "do" life. When we embrace the wisdom contained in his wisdom (the Word of God), we find we go about "doing" what we won't be ashamed or embarrassed to have another follow. Just sayin!