Pastor’s Blog 12.19.18

Discretion in its simplest definition is the ability to speak without causing offense. I would say that in my years of leading in the church, one of the greatest challenges to unity in the faith is the lack of discretion in church relationships. It seems some folks can’t rest at the end of the day until they offend someone. I have to credit my Mother with teaching me much of the art of discretion. Discretion and empathy are closely related.

So when do we say what we really think and when do we just keep our opinion to ourselves? Here is where wisdom steps in and tempers our communications and responses. Remember, wisdom anticipates consequences so before I say what I want or feel I need to say, I play it forward and think of the consequences first.

In my self-talk I am asking, “Is this the right time, place or opportunity to say this?”

“Am I willing to accept the fallout of what I am about to do?”

“What will the collateral damage be and is that a reasonable cost?”

You might be thinking, shouldn’t I say what I know is right? One of my favorite go to sayings is, “You may be right but lonely.” Let’s look at the best example we have – Jesus.

Matthew 8:2-4

2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” NKJV

Matthew 16:20

20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. NKJV

Mark 7:34-36

34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. NKJV

Luke 8:52-56

52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.”

53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.

54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.”

55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.

56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened. NKJV

There are things that happen in our congregational worship that are precious, intimate, and private to people’s personal lives. It amazes me how some believers will capture a wonderful moment in a worship experience, and then blast it out on facebook to an unbelieving world of haters and mockers, and actually do more harm to the cause of Christ than good. When unsure, remember what I said above, think forward, ask yourself the questions…ask for wisdom! James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

This is a good reminder to anticipate the consequences and think before you speak, before you do, and before you post or tweet!!

Until next time,
Pastor Dave