Stop and think!
For reading & meditation: James 1:12-20
"' Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry '" (v.19)
Yesterday we saw that the first step the psalmist took, the step which helped to save him from spiritual disaster, was most surprising. In the midst of overwhelming temptation, he says to himself: "If I give expression to my doubts and speak out of my envious, discouraged heart, I will put a stumbling-block in someone else's path - hence I will not say anything at all" (paraphrase mine). Now as we said yesterday, many people may find it difficult to accept this as the first step on the road to recovery - but it worked, nevertheless. Listen to what one commentator says about this first step: "Our reaction to the discovery of what his first step was in his process of recovery will be a very good test of our spiritual understanding." What does he mean? He means that if we fail to see that the steps of faith
are sometimes very ordinary, then we are not as spiritual as we imagine. It's all right to have your head in the clouds, but make sure your feet are firmly planted on the earth! Keep in mind, then, that the thing which stopped the spiritual slide of the psalmist was very simple and ordinary - he made a decision not to say what was on the tip of his tongue. He stopped to think. Rather than spread his unbelief, he determined to keep his mouth shut; rather than threaten someone else's spiritual understanding, he resolved not to act on impulse. It might not have been a particularly high spiritual motive, but it was the thing that prevented him from falling.