New Hope Notes
Me And My Big Mouth
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
How many of us have spoken hasty or impetuous words only to have regrets afterwards? I know I have – too many times. A very wise man once said that there are only two pains in life: the pain of discipline OR the pain of regret. How many of you wish you could take back or erase some of your words? Probably all of us! I wish I could take back so many of the things that I have said.
There were three couples eating dinner together at a marriage conference. The first husband began applying the tenderness he learned at the conference by saying to his wife, “Please pass the sugar, sugar.” The second husband followed him by saying, “Please pass the honey, honey.” Mano, the third husband was not to be outdone so he said, “Please pass the Kalua pig ….!” So think before you speak!
We need to retrain our tongues. We need to practice over and over again thinking before speaking until it becomes our default system of behaving or automatic response to almost any situation. If we do practice it enough then a thought out response will be automatic under pressure. If do not practice then we will not be able to do it under pressure.
When I was racing kayaks, my coach told me to drink water every 15 minutes. I was reluctant because I was not thirsty. But my coach insisted that I do so anyway. The reason is that if you wait until you are thirsty it is too late. You are already dehydrated. This is similar to being prepared to speak during a crisis. You have to prepare or practice before the crisis hits if you want good results.
The Bible says, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.' You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.' ...As it is, you boast in your arrogance; and all such boasting is evil" (James 4:13-16). In other word, we often make impetuous words or plans and when they turn out wrong we still defend our actions.
99% of my mistakes are because of my big mouth so I know that our training and practice has to be done before the challenge arrives, otherwise we will tend to make impetuous decisions under pressure. So how should we prepare? We should ask questions of ourselves. We should test our self. We should ask questions about our Godliness. We should ask what we would do under various challenging situations so that when the situation does arise, we are already prepared.
One of the things that tends to lead us into hasty, rash or impetuous words and decisions is temptation. The devil will offer us something beautiful but will not show us the ugly results. He will only show us the beautiful side of evil. If he came to us as a demon we would refuse so he usually disguises himself as something appealing. If you have not thought through the tempting situation beforehand, then you will fall. So there are …
THREE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
1. WHAT AM I FILLING MY MIND WIITH MOSTLY EVERY DAY?
This is like the term “garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, you words and actions will reflect what you have been daily putting inside your heart, mind and soul. Accordingly, the Bible says, "... the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart" (Matt. 12:34). So take the time to fill yourself with Godly thoughts. Do your daily devotions. That is where you will get your Godly thoughts from. Even if you have gone to church for 20 years, if you have not filled your mind daily with Godly thoughts, when push comes to shove you will fail. Think about it. What if you only ate on Sundays? Would you still be healthy? We all need spiritual nutrition daily, as in our daily devotions!
How many of you believe that the Holy Spirit knows the future? Well, He does. And He will “highlight” the scripture that you will need in the future in your daily devotions. So read it daily!
Worry and remorse is misplaced thinking. If you did not do the proper thinking beforehand, then you will have plenty of worry and remorse thinking after the fact.
Another daily preparation question is …
2. DO I HAVE THE COURAGE & HUMILITY TO REPENT IF I AM WRONG IN SPIRIT OR FACT?
If the answer is no then do not speak! You will paint yourself into a corner by speaking rashly. You can imprison yourself by your words and pride as in an ultimatum that you do not mean later.
Accordingly, "...as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil" (James 4:16). Further, "...if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said - quick, get out of it if you possibly can! You have placed yourself at your friend's mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name cleared" (Prov. 6:2-3 NLT). In other words, humble pie is best eaten warm. Swallow your pride and admit your mistake quickly.
The third preparation question is …
3. CAN I THINK BEFORE I SPEAK?
Follow these steps because as the Bible says, "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). These are the questions you should ask yourself when you are thinking about speaking.
Some things are true but may not be THE TRUTH. What does God want you to say about it?
Sometimes the worst time to deal with someone is in the midst of a crisis. Emotional words can cut and hurt. Let’s chill out first.
The answers to this THINK acronym should all be yes before you speak. Remember, impetuous words will steal many potentially wonderful relationships from your future. So ask yourself what you are filling your mind with every day. Ask if you have the courage and humility to repent if you are wrong. Also ask if you have time to think before you speak.
1. What are you filling your mind with mostly?
2. How can you improve the quality of what you are putting in your mind?
3. What happened when you did not admit you were wrong?
4. How can you develop more courage and humility?
5. What happened when you did not take the time to think before you spoke?
6. Are there times when impetuous words are appropriate?