Summary: As humans we get pretty silly when it comes to the choices we make.
Silly Humans, Smart God
Written By: Tim Gardner April 2005
“AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it’s not Walter who’s lacking intelligence.
Police in Oakland, California spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, "Please come out and give yourself up."
An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.
A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Stop, and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.
Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn’t control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words, "Give me all your money or I’ll shoot, the man shouted, "That’s not what I said!"
A man spoke frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!" "Is this her first child?" the doctor asked. "No!" the man shouted, "This is her husband!"
In Modesto, California, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.
Some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get their brand new 22 ft going. It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power was applied. After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted to a nearby marina, thinking someone there could tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the out drive went up and down, and the prop was the correct size and pitch. So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath, he came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard. Under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer (UNKNOWN AUTHOR: Internet email).”
As human beings we do some pretty silly stuff. Sometimes we don’t even realize the things we do or say until after the fact. Perfect example aside from the stories I just told you is one afternoon my wife and I went into Cellular One to get our cell phones. The clerk went over all the details of our plan which is the unlimited plan, i.e. - unlimited minutes anytime. After the clerk was finished, she asked if we had any questions. My wife immediately spoke up. She asked (now don’t tell her I told you this story), “Do we get free mobile-to-mobile?” The clerk replied, “You have unlimited minutes anytime.” MY wife didn’t get it, so she rebutted, “Ok, but do we get free mobile-to-mobile?” Our thinking sometimes gets faster than our processing. Even more so, our talking gets faster than our thinking. This was the case with several people in the Bible including some of the most renowned and powerful prophets. That’s why there is so much to say about it in the Bible. Today we are going to focus on what the Bible teaches through both instruction as well as life experiences about Thinking Before Speaking, Thinking Before Acting, and Praying Before Even Thinking. Let’s pray.
I. Thinking Before Speaking
In movies, television shows, dramas, even commercials we have seen time and time again a bad situation. Here’s an example. Two guys in separate vehicles are arguing about some stupid incident when one decides to challenge the other in a fist fight. The challenger proceeds to get out of his car continuing to offend the other man until he finally exits his vehicle. To the challenger’s dismay, the guy he was challenging ends up being 6’ 5” and stacked with more muscles than an action figure. Oops! We’ve seen that slap-stick humor many times and every time we think it is the funniest thing. Yet, it’s a perfect example on how we silly humans speak before thinking. Or here’s another example. Tell me moms and dads if this has ever happened to you. The scene is a parent working on a project with their kid and ends hurting themselves in the process (you know…like a hammer on the thumb, or a book dropping on that bare sore toe, or even a sheet of paper oh so quickly sliding it’s edge across your middle finger making the smallest, yet most painful incision ever). What does the parent do in these times of crisis? We scream certain phrases or words that we teach our children not to say. We all laugh at these things that we have done in our past, but are they really a laughing matter? 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 11a states, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” This and other instructions in the Bible help us identify how God would like us to carry our speech as Christians. While some things are less serious than others, we should still think before we speak. I can’t tell you how many times I would have saved myself a lot of trouble if I’d practiced this one simple thing. But that’s what makes it so difficult. Logically thinking before speaking should always take place. The voice box doesn’t know what to say, until the brain sends the information. But this isn’t a logical matter we are talking about this morning. It is an attitude. We know exactly what we want to say during these crisis times, but do we think about the consequence of speaking what we’d like to say? In training college we were talking about anger in one of my psychology classes. The teacher, who is an officer in the Salvation Army as well, told us a story of an officer that got so upset about an email that his Divisional Commander had sent him, that he angrily typed up a hateful reply and hit send. The next morning he got up and thought about the email his Divisional Commander sent him. He started thinking how right this email was and how much it made sense to him after a long nights sleep. Then it occurred to him what he had done. He felt so horrible, and quickly called his D.C. and explained how silly it was for him to reply so angrily. His D.C., being a very understanding person said, “I know your heart and I know you didn’t mean what you wrote, but what if I didn’t know your heart? What do you think would have happened then?” Too many times we don’t think of the consequences of our words which results in more trouble. This is true even with lying. I know that we all have gotten out of bad situation just by bending the truth just a little bit. It all comes down to this. We should think to ourselves, what would my words be if God was standing right next to me?