Thursday, July 30, 2020

Sometimes We Need To Be Quiet And Be A Friend

Proverbs 25:20, “As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.”

There is nothing worse than someone who lacks understanding when you're having a bad day. If you're like me, you verbally vent sometimes. As humans we are creatures of emotion. My pain medications also affect my mood, so I have to be careful to take them consistently. I have emotional swings at times. I am a passionate person, which is why I love music, so I have to be careful to stay calm. When I do get emotional, I just get vocal, expressing my feelings. That is why I choose to stay home most of the time, where I am safe from people. 

When someone is having a bad day, sometimes we just need a friend to be quiet, and say something encouraging. I've met A LOT of people like me. I have known some very emotionally sensitive people throughout my life. I have learned that when they vent, making inflammatory remarks, to just love them. They need a friend, not someone to make stupid statements that will exasperate their emotions, like pouring gas on a fire. I've learned that most of the time people who are venting just need a friend to be there, stay quiet, and be supportive.

Religious people are the worst! When you are having a bad day, venting, they'll say hurtful things like: “Well brother you just need to keep your eyes on the Lord.” Tell me something I don't already know! They'll say stupid things like: “It sounds like you're bitter.” Well give that man a blue ribbon award! Of course that person is bitter at the moment, which is why they need a friend, not a religious self-righteous hypocrite who is going to judge them! Just be a friend and don't comment. Sometimes you need to look through a person's statements and anger, and see a hurting heart. People usually hurt other people with their words because they are hurting in their soul. Oh the value of a true friend who just stays quiet. There is a time to speak up, but it is not when your friend is upset and venting.

Wise Solomon mentions the word “word” 47 times in Proverbs. In it's plural form, we find “words mentioned 38 times. Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” We find the word “tongue” mentioned 19 times in Proverbs. Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 12:18, “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” Words are like bullets, you cannot take them back once spoken. Our teeth are like bars, caging a wild beast called a “tongue.” Don't let the beast out, keep your mouth closed!

A godly woman refrains from speaking hurtful words. Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Sadly, over 95% of professed Christians don't control their mouth! Words are powerful. The Bible says the power of death and life are in the tongue. Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Your hurtful words could cause a hurting person to go commit suicide. By the way, your typed words can be just as hurtful as your spoken words. I have been cut to the heart in emails by people. I just give those words to the Lord, who died for all our sins. I can accept that other people hurt me, but I don't want to be the one who does the hurting.

I wrote an article in 2016 called “30,000 Words A Day. I found the article in a Sword of The Lord scrapbook published by Miss Viola Walden (1915-2007). The average person speaks 30,000 words each day, which in a typical human lifetime will fill a medium-sized library. I have said some really stupid things in my lifetime, which I clearly remember, and I wish I had never said them. Oh the blessedness of silence!

As an example: Many years ago, when I was still married, I spoke with a man I didn't know well. I was buying a guitar. He was the business owner. He told me he was divorced, to which I replied: “Oh, you're a lucky man!” He said, “Well, I don't know how lucky I am.” That was in the 1990's. My wife divorced me in 2006. In a million years, I would NEVER again tell a man that he is “lucky” for being divorced. That was a foolish and insensitive thing I said to that man. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16; Jeremiah 3:20). I was young and stupid, about 30 years old. Now I am 53 (and trying not to be stupid). I regret what I said. I blurted out the first thought that came to my mind, because I had never been through a divorce. I didn't understand the pain, betrayal, hurt, financial devastation, and consequences caused by a divorce. I sure know now! The Bible says the tongue is an unruly evil that cannot be tamed. Even a wild beast can be tamed the Bible says, but NOT the human tongue, so we need to learn to just stay quiet. James 3:7-8, “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

God gave us TWO ears and ONE mouth to teach us that we ought to listen twice as much as we talk. That is great advice! I am reminded of a sign I saw years ago, which read: “Lord, please put Your arm around my shoulder, and Your hand over my mouth!” Amen and amen!

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