Let me start out by saying that I usually don't watch shows like The Bachelor. I tease my wife about watching this show where the people "dating" are in a hot tub 50% of their dates.
Last night's show had a sentiment that seems to be becoming fairly mainstream. I saw this thought echoed in a kid's show this morning: If you are thinking about something, you should speak your mind. Just say what's on your heart...say what you are thinking!
Is this really a character trait that should be at the top of our charts? If you think about it, there's a lot of potential for danger! If I were to say "everything that I was thinking," what are the implications of that? If I "spoke my mind" all the time, I may:
- damage long-term relationships.
- ruin someone's first impression.
- cause a fight.
If I spoke my mind, people might find out that I don't like them. Is that a good thing? Or should I keep my mouth shut and love them no matter what?
If I spoke my mind, people might find out that I'm jealous of them and their possessions. That would make for strained relationships, don't you think?
If I spoke my mind, there are many other thoughts, sinful thoughts, that would probably be better kept to myself.
Here's what the Bible says, "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." (Gen. 6:5)
Now, I realize that this was written when God destroyed the earth by flood. Do I think that EVERY inclination of EVERY person's heart is evil? No.
It just seems like there are sometimes when "speaking your mind" is NOT the best thing to do.
Oh sure, there are times when speaking your mind is necessary. There are times when people need to be confronted. There are times when fighting is needed. There are times to stand up and let your voice be heard.
But, "there is a time to be silent, and a time to speak." (Ecclesiastes 3:7)
If you're going to speak your mind, make sure it's for the right reasons. Make sure you're going to say something that will build people up in the long run, and not tear them down. Make sure your comments are critical for the right reason. Speak the truth, but speak the truth IN LOVE!