Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.  (Tit 3:1-2) 

Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?  (Jas 4:11-12)

The Scripture passages above remind us that we should not speak evil of anyone, but rather to be ready in every season for good work.  We’re called to be peace-promoting, quiet, and unpretentious people.

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Lk 6:37)  We’re not called to criticize or to assess other human beings!  We’re told to judge ourselves first and foremost.  (1 Cor 11:31)

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.  (Jas 3:2)  The goal of controlling the tongue is a life-long goal that must be chosen for each and every day of our lives.  If anyone should ever accomplish this goal, James tells us that we would be “perfect” or complete and mature.

Furthermore, we have no need to judge anyone because there is already a Judge Who is qualified to judge mankind, since He lived as a man on earth.  All judgment has been committed to Jesus.  (Joh 5:22)

We should not only avoid judgment but we should not speak evil of other people.  We are to use our words wisely and to watch over them. (Ex 20:16; 23:1; Eph 4:29, 31; 1 Pet 2:1)  God bless you.

Be Tenderhearted

Be Tenderhearted

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  (Eph 4:32)

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous . . . (1 Pet 3:8)

. . . because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.  (2 Chr 34:27)

Tenderhearted means kind, gentle, compassionate, or sympathetic.  We don’t often consider this, but tenderheartedness is an attribute of Jesus.  This is why He was reported to have wept over Jerusalem.  (Lk 19:41)  He saw into their future, and He had compassion for all of the people who lived there.

So, too, the Lord wants us to be tenderhearted toward others.  He wants our compassion and gentleness to move us to help others and to be merciful to them.  Someone who is tenderhearted would never rejoice over someone else’s calamity or misfortune.  Rather they would be moved to have sympathy for them, and to pray for them and consider how they might be able to help them.

And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He [Jesus] said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.  (Mk 3:5 – parenthesized word added)

Jesus did this miracle deliberately even though He knew that the scribes who were in the crowd were silently critical of His actions.  Their hardness of heart angered the Lord, but He determined to continue to minister His love and mercy in spite of their doubt and criticism.  He demonstrated His tenderheartedness to the man with the withered hand.

Let us always have a tender heart towards ALL who need salvation, healing, and mercy.  Jesus gave us His example to follow by ministering to those who were hurting, in pain, or impoverished due to a sickness or disease with which they had been afflicted.  Jesus came to bring salvation to mankind, and He tenderheartedly fulfilled His assignment.  Hallelujah!

A Light Burden

A Light Burden

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  (Mat 11:29-30)

The Lord Jesus is saying that He is meek, humble, and tender-hearted when He says He is gentle.  Lowly in heart can mean simple and unpretentious at heart.  And when Jesus states that His yoke is easy, He’s saying that union with Him is useful, pleasant, good, and suitable for us.

In contrast to the heavy, legal burden of Judaism, Jesus calls for an open, free and loyal relationship (My yoke).  This type of relationship enables, aids; or supports obedience to the law’s righteousness.  (My burden

When we accepted Christ as Savior, we accepted Jesus’ righteousness.  He completed His work—we are saved!  Therefore, our burden indeed is light, because He bore it on our behalf.  And now we are privileged to be yoked to Him in love, devotion, and thanksgiving forever.  

A Balancing Act

A Balancing Act

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.  Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless [innocent] as doves.  (Matthew 10:16 NKJV – parenthetical definition added)

As believers, we are all sent out as ambassadors to spread the Good News of salvation.  But we’re sent as sheep!  Yes, Jesus compares us to sheep sent into a world that contains wolves.  Sheep have no survival skills, and are not smart or cunning when it comes to safety.  They rely completely upon their shepherd to lead and guide them, to feed and protect them.  Sheep respond to their shepherd’s voice, but they tend to get restless when food is scarce. 

Jesus compared us to sheep because, like sheep, we need our loving Shepherd’s wisdom, protection, the food of His Word, and the living water of the Holy Spirit.  We also recognize our Savior’s voice and respond to it.

We are sent among wolves1 who want to make prey out of any vulnerable sheep.  So, as believers, we must trust God to protect us and guard us, even as He protected Daniel in the lions’ den.

We must be wise like a serpent, who has keen eyesight and is quick to learn.  Yet we must be as innocent as a dove, who is meek and gentle.  (When the Holy Spirit appeared, it would be in the form of a dove.2)  This balancing act is only possible by God’s grace.

How can we share our own, personal story of salvation without offending the unsaved or coming across as confrontational?  We should allow the Lord to control the situation, as we listen for His wise voice and obey it.  We need to be vulnerable, non-combative, and yet courageous in our witness.  The Lord will give us an understanding of the person and the situation as we allow ourselves to be guided by Him.

When we follow the instructions of the Word, we can harmoniously use the traits of both serpents and doves and be a witness of calm discretion!

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1 Mat 7:15

2 Mat 3:16; Mk 1:10