Think quick?

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

So, for the past couple of podcasts we’ve been talking about our thoughts…the runaway imagination and the over-thinker. This week, let’s round out our “unintentional” mind renewal series  (God knew I was going this way..I didn’t) and talk about the “under-thinker” a.k.a. the hasty thinker.

Many of us, including myself have been this individual—at the first sign of seeing or hearing something, we immediately jump to a conclusion AND often speak without having all the “facts in evidence”. Here are some examples:

A co-worker says a cheery  good morning to you. Immediately you think, “what does SHE want? I bet she needs me to cover her break! NOT today!” You blurt out, “Morning. I cannot cover the desk this morning. I have a meeting.” She says sadly, “My break is covered…I was just saying hi”.

Someone at church does not greet you as they normally do. You think to yourself, “They must be upset I wasn’t at the church picnic last Saturday.” Right after that, your mood is altered to the point where you stop speaking to the individual for the next few Sundays. The whole story? At the time the person saw you, they were in deep thought about a serious family decision that needed an immediate answer. They meant no harm, rather they needed prayer and some encouragement.

It’s Saturday evening and a neighbor who can be long-winded starts walking toward your car as soon as you pull into your driveway. You quickly think about an “escape route” and call a family member to start a conversation, smiling and pointing to your phone as you get out. The neighbor walks away and sends a text later the next day, saying he had wanted to attend your church on Sunday–he just needed the address. Maybe next time. Next time never happens.

Sobering, right BCU Family? Hasty thoughts lead to hasty conclusions and hasty actions.  The Bible warns us of doing things in haste–so we really need to get an understanding of what haste is and what God says. Let’s start with the definition of haste from Dictionary.com

swiftness of motion; speed; celerity: 
urgent need of quick action; a hurry or rush.
unnecessarily quick action; thoughtless, rash, or undue speed.

That last definition is exactly where we are going to focus.

Judges 11 tells the story of Jephthah, a mighty warrior who was called for by the Israelites to help them win a war against the Ammonites.

After a failed attempt to avoid the war, Jephthah made a vow to God, saying, “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30–31). Jephthah then defeated the Ammonites and returned home to Mizpah (Judges 11:32–34).

When Jephthah arrived at home, his daughter, an only child, was the first to come out of his house (Judges 11:34). Upon seeing her, Jephthah obviously remembered his vow and tore his clothes in mourning. When he told his daughter of his promise, she accepted the consequences, asking for two months to mourn beforehand (Judges 11:37–38). The Bible records that it actually became a custom for the daughters of Israel to mourn the event each year for four days (Judges 11:39-40).

In this case, Jepthath’s hasty thinking (or not thinking at all) lead to hasty speech that caused his only child trouble for the remainder of her life. How many  have lives/are living of us are living out unfavorable consequences from quick thinking/actions? While we cannot change what we did/said, we can ask God for the grace to walk out our decisions. Additionally, we can avoid repeating the same lesson by applying Jephthah’s story to our lives–and by taking into our hearts some additional scriptures.

 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly (Proverbs 14:29).

 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him (Proverbs 18:13).

👉🏾Folly means lack of good sense; wicked or someone who lacks the proper fear or respect of God. 

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Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him (Proverbs 29:20).

👉🏾The Pulpit Commentary says the dull, stupid man (kesil) may be instructed and guided and made to listen to reason—but the hasty and ill-advised speaker consults no one, takes no thought before he speaks, nor reflects on the effect of his words; such a man it is almost impossible to reform..

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 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

👉🏾Not only should we be swift to hear the other person, we should be swift to hear what God is saying to us, before we speak or get angry. Otherwise we end up sinning. 

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2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:2-6).

👉🏾Unlike the world says, promises were NOT made to be broken. God takes our words seriously and expects us to follow through on what we say, even it it hurts us (See Psalm 15:4).   

So what can we do about this rash thinking/mouth? God has an answer!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). If we start by taking a moment to pray, God will supply us with the direction to go in, so He is glorified through what we THINK, SAY and DO! 

You know, BCU Fam, while the basis of salvation is Acts 2:38 (repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost), the Lord calls us to live a holy life which includes  being mindful of our thoughts, words and actions. In fact,we are accountable (we will give an answer) to God for our words and deeds (See Matthew 12:36 and 2 Corinthians 5:10), so while we can, with the help of the Lord, let’s be intentional about applying the Word of God to our thought process, which is the basis of everything. Amen? Amen!

As much as it disappoints me when people jump to conclusions about me, I have been guilty of doing the very same thing if I do not allow the Lord to govern my thoughts! How about you? How do you deal with your quick thinking? Let’s talk more in the comments section below!

Finally, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

The cost of emotional decision-making

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. This week you have a bit of both! Please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights wrap-up and corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

So in our *Periscope class, we’ve been talking about procrastination and how that cheats us out of out chronos and karios moments. This brief podcast is on the opposite–making hasty, emotional decisions and the consequences to that. A young man by the name of Jephthah had to walk out his vow. Read the entire chapter of Judges 11 to get the whole story, as you listen to the “podcast on the go” and the commentary afterward. As a point of reference, below are the action and consequence Scriptures from chapter 11.

30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord‘s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands.

33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,

40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

Hopefully you caught the last part of the podcast where Jephthah had to keep his word about his daughter. The Scriptures do not go into detail about how he kept his vow, but suffice it to say, the remembrance of his victory would always be bittersweet.

You may be thinking, well I don’t vow anything, especially to God, but in actuality we do. Anything we say we’ll do is not just in front of the individual, but God is also there listening and recording all we utter.

We casually say, “I’ll call you this week,” or ” I’ll get that to you”, “I’ll take care of it”, “I’ll be praying”. And yes, we say these things with a well-intentioned heart, yet we often forget or skip over our promises due to competing priorities. Even when we forget, God remembers–He takes us seriously and He expects us to keep our word. Consider Ecclesiastes 5:3-6.

For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

This is serious business BCU Family! In order to avoid hasty mouth, we really should acknowledge the Lord in all out ways, so He can direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6). As we slow down to listen to what God is telling us and (yield to Him) we can make promises that God can bless us to keep.

So if you’ve made rash, emotional decisions that you have not followed through on (I KNOW I have), let’s repent and ask God’s forgiveness as we walk out Proverbs 3:6 in all our decision-making. Are you as excited as I am about that? Amen!

 Question of the podcast:

What are your thoughts on making emotional decisions?  There’s a comment section here on the BCU site, just waiting for your thoughts so we can continue our conversation! Let’s talk!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

*Join us on Periscope every Thursday night at 8:05pmEST on channel BlenCouragesU.

Series: Speech Therapy..the words of my mouth (part 5)

 

Hey BCU family!

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Last lesson, we talked through some examples of idle words as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 12:33-37. Additionally, the book of James reminds us about the words of our mouth.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 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. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
(‭‭James‬ ‭3:2-12)‬ .

Whew—-we’ve got work to do! Let’s dig in!

C.  The non-listener/hasty speaker

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29).

See a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20).

He that answers a matter before he hears it it is folly and a shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).

The Lord has brought this to my attention both as the offender and the offended. I probably notice it more as I was offended a couple of times recently and I liked that as much as I like a big ol’ plate of canned beets. Meaning I DON’T!

After setting up a meeting with someone to get clearance for a special task, I wanted to give them the background, so it was clear WHY I needed the clearance. I am ALL about making sure you understand, so nothing comes back to get me later. In mid-explanation, the individuals CUTS me off and gives me a some solution to the clearance—I listened quietly, and heard them say something like,  “is that what you were leading up to?” Me: “No”. Reread Proverbs 29:20.

Also, I had conversation with someone, where we disagreed on the conclusion of whatever we were talking about. Every time I wanted to explain why, I got CUT off. I finally just shut down—and listened. Then person was curious about my quietness.

There is also cutting into a conversation, while someone is talking and switching the subject—like the shell game! LOLOLOL!! I’m laughing but it’s really not of God. And I KNOW that I’ve done this to people–maybe out of excitement or wanting to get the point in while it was fresh or whatever, but what did my action do to the speaker? How did I make them feel? Like I was listening or just waiting for them to hush so I can talk?

All this really is birthed out of the pride of life—where self-exaltation and exaggerated importance tells you that the people/persons that are currently speaking DO NOT MATTER. What you have to say right then and there trumps the other person because you KNOW better, you HAVE the answer (you were not asked yet), you ARE superior, YOU HAVE lived longer than said individual, I DON’T have to listen to this; I WANT to end the conversation; I HAVE BETTER things to do; SHE takes TOO long expressing herself. I KNOW exactly what you want to say. DO YOU? No.

#BottomLine: Use your ears twice as much as your mouth.

D. Excess wording
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:33-37).

While many of us know not to use swear words (believers DO NOT practice using foul language), what about the “swear substitutes?” “What the…” “Oh my gosh” (substitute for God) or “jeez” (short for Jesus). Sure, we’re not taking the Lord’s name in vain…well directly, more like indirectly.. God knows our hearts, yes, but since He reminds us we have to give an account for our excess words, we should reconsider what we’re saying.

What’s the need to”swear to our God”, on your grandmother’s grave or say some other ridiculous claim to get someone to believe you are telling the truth? Is not our word enough, especially if we are truthful all the time. When telling your story, stick with the yay and nay (the truth of the story) without extra details and embellishments so we can stay away from anything evil coming out.

E. Empty promises/promising to do something when you can’t.

“Knocking someone into next week/kingdom come.”
“If….. happens, I’ll eat my hat”.
“Shake her hand till it comes off.”

Now I know these phrases sound very innocent and harmless. Think about it, though. If you really wouldn’t eat your hat, you’re not telling the truth. We can’t really knock someone into next week or any other week, either. You know, God never said anything He could not do, so we need to stop practicing this form of idle chatter.

F. Hasty, emotional responses:

“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:2).
“If God never answered another prayer….” do you really mean that? What if God took you seriously?
“I promise I will never ask for…” or “God if you do..I will..” Do we need to “bribe” God?  Ask, and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Whoever asks, gets, seeks, finds, knocks, it shall be opened. If it’s according to God’s will, you will get it..He likes to give good gifts.

“As long as I have Jesus I don’t need nobody else?” Really? Does not God work through people? Are we not called to love and interact with people? No…we don’t worship them, but we need one another.  An example? One plants, one waters and God gives the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7). We need people.

Also, should we really bargain with God? Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6 warns us not to.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

Jephthah in Judges 19 learned this lesson painfully. He vowed if he was victorious in battle, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of the house and it happened to be his only daughter.

#BottomLine– even in our anger and excitement, we can still honor God with how we speak. We need to choose our words carefully.

So once again this week, let’s ask the Lord to help us to “weed out” these types of idle words from our  hearts, mouths and vocabulary and replace that idling with more of the Word of God. We can do all of these things through Christ that strengthens us!

Thank you so much for tuning, God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and until we meet again #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU