Being prudent will preserve your life

Pause. Pausing is perhaps the best and wisest thing to do as a Christian when being prudent. There is wisdom behind this action, being a prudent Christian can actually save your life. You’re probably thinking I’m exaggerating, but in this article I want you to consider the benefits of becoming a prudent person and why it is important. If you recall, God’s word says that every idle word will be judged. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” – Matthew 12:36. If that doesn’t scare you, then I don’t know what will. There is an incredible benefit that comes with the art of being prudent – you keep your soul out of trouble and you guard the hearts of others too.

Below are a few tips to consider:

#1. Measure your words. Before you speak, allow the Lord to minister to you about the situation or circumstance. Every word you utter matters, it can literally light up a forest and cause unnecessary offense, or spread offense among the body of Christ. Always question yourself, is it necessary to say this and will it edify or tear down? Sometimes words can be excessive and where there is a multitude of words, sin can abound. Proverbs 10:19 – “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.” However, if the situation calls for it and the Lord has given you permission to counsel someone, by all means do it, but with precaution. Proverbs 10:11 – “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” 

#2. Discretion keeps you. We’ve all made mistakes in the past. Perhaps you’ve divulged information about someone you shouldn’t have. Or perhaps you were put in a precarious situation where you didn’t know how to act or what to say, but instead you opted to sharing it with someone. Whatever your situation, it’s important to note that discretion will always preserve your integrity and you automatically exempt yourself from ensnaring yourself into a trap the enemy has for you. The enemy is very astute in this area, he will brew a set of circumstances to make you stumble. The prudent person foresees this and carefully analyzes the possible outcomes and consequences of opening their mouths or entertaining gossip. Proverbs 2:11 – Discretion will watch over you, and understanding will guard you, 12to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perversity.”

#3. You avoid unnecessary “frenemies.” There is nothing worse than to get new “frenemies” because of your lack of discretion. People will distance themselves from you when they see you like to divulge the private conversations you’ve had with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Or if you decide to share your unedifying thoughts to someone because you are impulsive. Being impulsive and led by the flesh gives you the  perfect recipe for a new “frenemie.” Notice how I said, “frenemies,” because that’s exactly what happens within the body of Christ. You become a hypocrite to that brother or sister in Christ because of your lack of forgiveness and lack of addressing the person in private. Distancing yourself from a brother or sister in Christ does not solve the problem, it only makes it worse. Omitting an offense to someone and allowing it to grow a root of bitterness is also a sin. This is why the Lord says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”-Matthew 18:15. Brothers and sisters – be wise. When you’re discreet you avoid creating new problems with people. Not all Christians are equal. Not every Christian is spiritually mature enough to understand or have compassion about your concern; not every Christian cares about your problems, and not every Christian will be discreet. Be wise with whom you speak to. If the Holy Spirit has not allowed you to be fully open with someone, then learn to listen to instructions.

#4. When you’re prudent, you choose your battles. Not every battle is meant to be fought. Some people will speak ill about you and it will reach your ears. Whether it is criticism, false witnessing, or hate speech, you will need to exercise self-control. Some things are meant to be confronted and other times, you will have to let the Lord fight your battles. Some battles are simply meant to be ignored. Your soul will be more at peace when you let the Lord take revenge and not you. His justice is perfect and righteous. “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” – Isaiah 54:17

God bless you brethren and remember this verse whenever you’re about to open your mouth… Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

 

Don’t be Satan’s target

Most Christians place a big emphasis on Satan’s tactics and schemes, but the reality is we are able to evade them. When we declare God’s word that “no weapon forged against us will prosper” we should literally believe it. For a long time I used to believe that I lived in a protective bubble, and while I am protected by God’s sovereign hand, if I make myself a free target, I will surely be darted.

Here is what I mean: if I open “legally” a door to the enemy, Satan has complete reign and permission from God to bother me. You might be saying to yourself, but how could a loving God permit that? Well, the truth is, you did. For example, if you watch pornography, lie, indulge in gossip, or simply are flat out disobedient… expect oppression from Satan. “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Elgon king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.” Judges 3:12

As you can see, oppression comes when you are deliberately in disobedience. Okay, so we know that God allows oppression if we are disobedient, but this oppression leads us to repentance. How do we resist Satan? Here are three simple tips:

#1 Pray that you don’t fall into temptation. The spirit (meaning your spirit) is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:1 (You should pray to avoid falling, you need God’s help).

#2 Look for a door of escape. 1 Corinth 10:13 says that God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (This doesn’t mean you get to indulge in your temptation or weakness by enduring it. It means God will give you the door to run away, it is up to you to find it).

#3 Engrave God’s word in your heart. Proverbs 7:3 says, “Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Keep God’s word fresh in your heart and mind, what you don’t read or revisit is like seeing yourself in a mirror and forgetting what you look like. The Holy Spirit is gracious to remind you, but you should also intentionally read His word and know when to apply it).

Hope this helps and remember, you don’t have to be be a target.

This tongue is on fire!

During my devotional this morning, I came across an incredible chapter in James. Chapter three focuses on the one muscular organ that directs your life. Now, you might be saying…well, this really is your brain. You are correct, it is your brain, but what comes out of your mouth are thoughts that came from your brain and therefore it is steering you in either the wrong or right direction.

Have you’ve ever been caught up in a conversation with someone who is probably saying more than you would have wanted to know? Maybe the details of someone’s personal life that you probably don’t care about or shouldn’t really need to know? My friend, you’ve been caught up in someone’s gossip. Now, while it may not be your fault and that person may not even realize it, God is listening. What can we do to avoid situations like this and crash the chatterbox? Here are a few tips.

#1 Listen but don’t agree. Sometimes people are speaking out of frustration and they just want to be heard. That’s okay, but if you see that this person is purely speaking out of vanity, envy, self-motivation or with the wrong motive, do not come into agreement. Being a good listener is a practice we should all have to understand people; however, the word of God also says that “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” – Proverbs 10:19 (Therefore, be very careful with what conversation you partake in).

#2 Redirect the conversation. Easier said than done, but it is definitely possible. People have such short attention spans and can be EASILY distracted by the ping of their “Facebook” app or you can use the typical “squirrel” tactic. This will not only save you but give a subliminal indication to that person that you are not interested. Just because this person in Christ, does not mean they have fully manifested the fruits of the Spirit. You may just have come across an immature Christian. James 1:26 says, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” Don’t fall into the trap of believing that they are acting Holy, by no means, they need to be rebuked. God’s word says that you will know them by their fruits.

#3 Pray for them. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable telling someone to stop their gossip for fear of creating strife or offense. It is understandable, if this is you, don’t worry the Holy Spirit will take care of it. The best thing you can do is pray for this person’s heart and let the Holy Spirit do the work. Not only does the Holy Spirit convicts gently and it corrects too. Thank you, Jesus!

That’s all for today. God bless you and I hope this helps. Remember James 3:6…”The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” Don’t be involved in that hell and guard your soul.