Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday's Resolution {Again, No More Evil Speech!}

We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

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36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. 

In this 36th Resolution {wow, can you believe we are on #36?!?}, I am hearing echoes of the 31st and 16th.   

Just for a refresher, here is Edwards' 31st Resolution:

31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution. 

And his 16th Resolution:

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

Maybe its a sign that 70 Resolutions can be a bit much to keep track of, even with an incredible mind like Jonathan Edwards'. I suppose that even his brilliance brought forth redundancies. 

Maybe, on the other hand, it isn't a mistake that I'm here considering my speech for a third time. Maybe Edwards' was more painfully aware than most of the human race's tendency to stumble again and again in words spoken. 

I don't have any new thoughts on the topic. But I am increasingly aware that my tendency is towards a rashness and harshness of tongue and tone. And I am increasingly disturbed about what this tendency says about the state of my soul, and the effects it has on my relationship with the Lord and others. 

Once again I want to renew my commitment to refraining from evil speech, in this fresh and beautiful new week. Will you commit to joining me?

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29 {italics added}

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