Oh, Be Careful Little Mouth, What You Say

Martyrdom of St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch a...
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Now, I had intended last week to write on that Proverbs series every Monday. I thought it would just be good if ya’ll could count on hat being here for you sometime on Monday. And it would encourage me to develop the habit of writing on that once per week, too, so it’s not just that I am thinking only of you. But over the weekend something happened that is really weighing on my heart. Actually, several things happened, including me violating ever statement I made when I wrote last Monday, but that’s not what I need to discuss today. Just know that I fail and fail frequently, and that for most of those types of posts, I am just the secretary taking dictation from Higher Quarters. And now, the world’s longest ever introduction to a blog post is over.

This weekend, a board I serve on was asked to intervene in a situation, and we did. Now, the whole board knows that I am a Christian, or at least I hope they do. The thing did not go down well at all, and there were a lot of hot tempers and ruffled feathers, and threats and ugly words. And do you know what almost made me cry? Every member of the board looked at me at different times and said “That man is a pastor”. Oh, I wanted to weep. The man is a pastor in this community, and he has destroyed his witness. How many people will never embrace the cross of Christ because of what they saw and heard this weekend?

And here is the flip side. As bad as I feel for those who are lost and will remain lost, because of the spectacle this weekend, I also feel for that man. I know the burden of guilt he will carry when he realizes the cost of losing his temper in public that way. It is so hard to be a public Christian today. We literally live under a microscope, and any human failing we have is magnified and held up as an example of how Christians “really are”. That makes me so very sad, because Christians are just people. We aren’t perfect, just redeemed. And we are often just as sinful as non-Christians. The difference is that we are forgiven, and that we try to do better. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we fail in really big, and really public ways. Praise God, He loves us anyway.

The title of this post comes from that little song we teach the little children. It goes like this:
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

And then it’s Oh be careful little ears what you hear and
Oh be careful little mouth what you say.

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