Friday, March 27, 2020

Let Your Yea be Yea

   There are many, many quotes taken from the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, some more well-known than others.  Some more thought provoking than others.  His Gettysburg's address would undoubtedly be the most famous.  I suppose the same can be said of any person.  If it were possible to record every conversation throughout our entire lifetimes, some words would be more noteworthy than others.  Who can say which conversation, whether out of the mouth of Lincoln, or from the most obscure person, would stir the heart of a person generations later.

 Here is one of those Lincoln quotes from an address he made before Congress in Dec. 1, 1862. It is definitely not as well known as his address at Gettysburg, but no less insightful. "In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity."

  Oh, that every politician would take that admonition to heart.  And not only government officials, but every public figure that has a forum to speak from, social media influencers and Hollywood personalities alike.  We live in a time like never before, where technology has allowed for the average man, woman, and teen to have their musings, opinions, and rants recorded for time and eternity. Not only recorded, but transmitted to the masses in the flash of a keystroke.  I'm quite sure many a person has experienced the misery and regret of hitting the 'Send' button without first taking pause to reflect on what they had just typed.  Then, there are the individuals who make bold pronouncements and affirm their unwavering commitment in support of some ideal, only to backtrack from it when the wind of public opinion shifts.  Paul warned his fledgling church at Ephesus about this dangerous tendency.  "We should no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different."  Ephesians 4:14

I find it interesting that this quote from Lincoln hammers home two timeless pieces of wisdom found in the Word of God.
  First, choose your words carefully, for you will have to account for them at some point in time.  If not in this life, then in the life to come.  "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the Day of Judgment."  Matthew 12:36
  Second, own up to your words, and stay committed to your values and beliefs, even in a value shifting, increasingly hostile social environment.  "Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No' be 'No'..."  Matthew 5:37
  "It is foolish and rash to make a promise before the Lord without counting the cost."  Proverbs 20:25
  Think before you speak.  Speak what you believe.  Stand behind what you say.

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