My Dad always used to tell us as kids, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I didn’t always like this advice, as it often then left me speechless, not allowed to say anything. That wasn’t fair! Who came up with such an idea anyhow? Isn’t it best to express how you really feel, whether people like it or not? However, as an adult, after expressing my opinions one too many times, I find this to be great wisdom to live by. Especially, when you see in God’s Word how powerful our words really can be. (Check out Prov. 18:21)
It’s so easy to blurt out an opinion, or word of condemnation, especially when it pertains to someone else. It helps us get our focus off of ourselves and puts on places where it needs to be…others. (Yes, I’m being a bit sarcastic.) Yet, the Bible challenges us in this very self-centered thinking when it says…“So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” Rom. 14:13
Paul’s advice to us is life-giving and quite possibly has the ability to change your world and those who live around you! His challenge is to stop living life focusing on others flaws and mistakes and instead FOCUS ON YOURSELF! Paul’s right…it all comes down to a decision to live differently. Our decision in this area can be the difference of being a life-giver or life-drainer in the life of others.
Change your focus… change a life!