Weekly Thought – May 19, 2015
Fred thoroughly enjoyed challenges. He moved a refrigerator by himself once just to see if he could figure out the principles of leveraging. He accepted mental experiments, as well. In his later years when he was bed-bound, he stayed awake all night thinking of punch lines to jokes. At 2:00am, he finally fell asleep.
Your ongoing support and encouragement mean much to us. We gratefully accept the challenge to bring you bite-sized portions of Fred’s wisdom week by week. Please pray for the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute teams as they begin their preparation for the 2016 schedule.
Historians credit the discovery of fire as one of the most critical for civilization. Its positive properties are many, but unmanaged it is destructive. Scripture refers to the tongue as similar to fire. Management of this organ starts with the heart. Our speech comes from our inner thoughts and desires.
For the tongue to have freedom, the spirit must have purity. It must be purged of ego, greed, hostility. The poisonous word comes from the toxic heart.
Years ago I was asked to be interim music director for a small church in suburban Nashville. When I agreed, the pastor asked me to sign a covenant stating I would not criticize anyone while I was there. I agreed to do it almost as an experiment, for it was so contrary to my general disposition. After a few months I realized I never felt more community than I did there. As I look back, I realize it was the fact of refusing to say anything negative about anyone that made the difference. I could face any person there with complete freedom because I had never said a hurtful word about anyone.
The Wrong Question
How tired I get of hearing people question the goodness of God by saying, “How could a loving God let my dear one die with cancer?” Disease came with the fall, not the callousness of God. The question is, “What evil did we bring on ourselves when Adam and Eve sinned?” We live in a fallen world bearing the consequences of disease, disastrous choices, and disabling habits. To question the character of God because we either don’t understand or don’t accept is immature thinking. We can struggle with the outcomes, but we must correctly ask the questions. Too seldom do I hear Satan blamed. He has become the practitioner of transference, ascribing to God his nefarious activities. Out eternal enemy is Satan but he, like some of our political leaders, is a great spinmeister and gets us to perceive either God or other believers as our enemy. The question we must always be asking is, “How can we know God for who He is?”
This week think about: 1) How well do I manage my tongue? Do “tongues of fire” defeat me more than I like? 2) What would a week without a critical remark look like? 3) What am I learning about the nature of God right now?
Words of Wisdom: “For the tongue to have freedom, the spirit must have purity. It must be purged of ego, greed, hostility. The poisonous word comes from the toxic heart.”
Wisdom from the Word: “If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.” (James 1:26 NET Bible)