Friday, March 12, 2010

Think Before We Speak

I received a birthday greeting that started out like this, “Satan wants to rob you of your joy….Happy Birthday”. Huh? I think this person was trying (in a strange way) to encourage me, but that’s not how I received it. I find that this kind of “satan talk” seems to be unique to Christians. I don’t remember ever receiving a birthday greeting from a non-Christian friend that started with something like, “Karma will kill ya….Happy Birthday!”

Listen, satan wants to rob all of us of our joy! That’s his gig. In the first chapter of Job the Lord asks satan where he’s come from, and in verse 7 he answers the Lord with, “from roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it”. What was satan looking for? He was looking for someone to destroy. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes to kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

As I said, satan wants to destroy us all. Unfortunately, my friend’s comment came across as a bit pious and judgmental – as if she was suggesting that satan had singled me out. Her statement didn’t bring me one ounce of joy or encouragement on my birthday. Had she been chatting with satan himself? In Romans 1:12 Paul writes that he longs to see us “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Sharing what God has done in and through us brings encouragement to the body. Did this proclamation bring encouragement? Telling the truth about satan has its place, but in a birthday greeting? Hmmmm…..

We need to take a moment and think – really think about our words. We need to ask God to give us clarity of thought and we all need to check and recheck our motivations. I don’t pretend to know what my friend’s intention was, but her birthday greeting left me feeling vulnerable and scared. Then I went to the scripture and was reminded that satan doesn’t really play favorites – he wants to destroy us all. But Jesus came so that we could have “life and have it to the full”! Get of pew and encourage! Get of the pew!

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