“Few men suspect how much mere talk fritters away spiritual energy. That which should be spent in action, spends itself in words. Hence he who restrains that love of talk, lays up a fund of spiritual strength.” — F. W. Robertson
“Learn not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” — George Sala
“Smart people speak from experience; smarter people from experience, don’t speak.” — Source Unknown
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Ps. 1:1).
The voices in your life affect the choices in your life, so “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24). Be extremely judicious of whose counsel you listen to. If you choose to give ear to small-minded individuals who gossip and slander good men, you will become contaminated. With all the biblical warnings about judging (James 4:11–12, Rom. 14:10, etc.), why would you elect to “sit in the seat of the scornful”? Evil speaking must be rejected, rebuked, and never received. Remember that the opinions of men are not infallible, and the voices you entertain are strictly your choice. Just because some people are addicted to drama does not mean you are obligated to attend their performances. Remove yourself immediately from the presence of career critics and agitators. Don’t fall for the sentimental notion that Christians must always remain silent and graciously smile no matter what people say or do. Jesus reacted strongly against the money changers in the temple. Walk away from voluntary relationships that bring out the worst in you. Naysayers and faultfinders will steal your life from you. You are not obligated to rescue chronically negative people. Get out of the seat of the scornful — now!
Another thing to eliminate is negative speech. Stop talking about what you want to forget. If you want to get something off your mind, begin by getting it out of your mouth. Don’t feed what you need to starve. Rehearsing the past keeps it alive. You can starve bad memories through the law of replacement. But you must “put off” before you can “put on.”
- Refuse to give an audience to the painful events from your past. Sure, they will pop into your mind, but you do not have to entertain those crippling thoughts.
- Remind yourself that your Advocate purchased your forgiveness and freedom.
- Thank God that the Blood of Jesus cleanses from “all unrighteousness.”
- Pay Attention to what you say. If God has put your past behind Him, you should put it behind you. Don’t down-talk yourself. Stop advertising your weakness.
- Reprogram your mind and emotions through the Word of God. Feed what you want to grow, and you will starve what needs to die.
Elimination of wrong people, wrong speaking, and wrong thinking is especially needful in seasons of distress. Your nerves are probably already frazzled. The last thing you need are critical people further draining your emotional reserves. What you walk away from will determine what God is able to bring you to. Scripture tells us to separate from divisive people: “Mark them which cause divisions and offences . . . and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). Nothing is more important than heart purity. Therefore, flee the bad and cling to the good. Your emotional and mental faculties need restoration. The peace you long for cannot mutually exist with the turmoil that accompanies critics and cynics. You should withdraw from such individuals in order to deliver yourself from becoming one of those people!
The law of association means you will become like the crowd you hang around. The law of elimination is the subtraction of wrong influences. Sinners, scorners, and the ungodly are those from whom you must withdraw. Eliminating these will go a long way in restoring peace in your soul. Take time now to reflect on the blessed subtractions you need to make now. You will be strengthened in your heart by eliminating negative speech, negative thoughts, and negative people.
- Are you refusing to give an audience to your failings in the past?
- Have you meditated on the fact that you have an Advocate in Heaven before the throne of God?
- Are there negative influences and voices in your heart that need to be eliminated?
Taken from “Extraordinary Strength in Adversity” by Harold Vaughan.
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