I am a very opinionated person. I have always been this way. My opinions really were judgment calls. In fact, the dictionary defines an opinion as a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. I see that definition of opinion as being a very weak view. I think of opinionated as extremely strong. I guess the definition is true; people cling to their opinions, whether substantiated or not.
I do a lot of research before I teach a class. I dig deep to know what I am teaching is a fact, not an opinion; if someone questions my subject, I can substantiate it. I never want to be questioned and have egg on my face. How, you may ask, does this have anything to do with God telling me to shut my mouth? Let me explain.
We are coming to the end of 2022, and many of us are reflecting on what changes we want to make in the New Year. I feel God telling me to quiet myself. You may think God always tells us to be silent and wait, but that’s not what I feel. I feel he really wants me to shut up for a bit. God is not that rough on me, but I need to consider His urging as abrupt. I need to zip it for a bit.
If you are a regular reader of my blog or watch my Youtube channel, you know I am very passionate about my love for God. My faith sometimes speaks freely without a filter. This faith ignites in me, especially when someone is misquoting the Bible. Let me give you some examples.
One day I was sitting with a group of people, and we began talking about Jesus. A man at the table said, “Jesus was just a man; don’t you think he had girlfriends and urges like I do?”. My head snapped around to see who could ask such a question. Who could be so stupid, I thought, then I breathed. “Jesus is God incarnate, He would never have girlfriends or your urges. When, and if He did have urges, He would resist temptation.”, I responded. How could this guy not know this? “Incarnate? What is that?”, he asked. I then realized that I was judging someone for what they didn’t know instead of educating him on Jesus. Girl, this would have been a good time to shut your mouth.
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
I’ll give you another example. I was talking to a pastor at a local church that I had heard say the Bible is open for interpretation and is only a guide on how to live life. He felt it was inspired by God, but since it was recorded by man, there was room for much error. Ugh, my heart sank. I believe in the Bible 110%, whether the stories of the Old Testament are allegorical or true happenings. I trust the words and lessons revealed in those stories. I became more argumentative since I felt he should represent God’s Word correctly. Again, I’m sure God was shaking His head and thinking, “Girl, shut your mouth!”.
Proverbs 13:3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
When God strongly urges me to “shut” my mouth, He says to extend grace. I fail at giving grace when I become forceful or loud regarding my faith. These are opportunities to show who God is by listening and being silent. I feel Him gently saying, “Teach, don’t correct with frustration.” His gentleness is what I first felt when I was pulled to Him, and I should practice this gentleness. “Be humble, for you did not know until you studied.” Impactful.
As of last week, I have begun “shutting” my mouth when I would normally jump to my feet to let someone know they were wrong. I feel the Holy Spirit say over and over in my heart, “Grace, girl, grace.”. It calms me, and I recognize that it is more impactful to be silent after someone’s comment than to be right.
May God bless you and bless you each and every day. LoLo
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.