Say nothing unless it is helpful
For reading & meditation: Colossians 4:2-6
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt '" (v.6)
From what we have been seeing over the past few days, it is clear that although the psalmist was struggling with doubts about the goodness of God,he took a stand on something he knew to be right. He realised that if he were to speak as he was tempted to speak, the immediate consequence would be the hurt of God's people - so he chose to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. He was not sure about the goodness of God but he was sure it would not be right to be a stumbling-block to God's children - and he held on to that fact. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones said in one of his sermons: "When you are puzzled and perplexed the thing to do is to try and find something of which you are certain, and then take your stand on it. It may not be the central thing; that does not matter." Note the words: "it may not be the central thing". We can struggle in the midst of our doubts, waiting for some great revelation to hit us, and fail to apply the remedy that is immediately to hand. The psalmist saved himself from slipping by saying to himself: "My heart is full of uncertainties and I cannot say with conviction that God is good. But one thing I am certain of: it is wrong to hurt others because of my own doubts. Therefore I will say nothing." We should be careful about how we express our doubts to other Christians, especially those who are immature. This principle applies also to non-Christian friends, partners, or family members. If we can say nothing helpful we should say nothing at all. The psalmist determined to say nothing until he could say: "God is good to Israel." Then he was entitled to speak.
Gracious and loving God, I can do no better today than frame my prayer in the words of Your servant David: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips." Help me, my Father. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What had the words of the priests become?
2. What are we not to put in our brothers way?