Have you ever wished you’d stopped talking about five minutes before you actually did?
Because I’ve been there myself, I want to help protect you from saying potentially embarrassing or hurtful things. And I’ve prepared a list of six warning signs to let you know when it’s time to stop talking.
Sign 1: You’re Complaining, Not Explaining
There’s a subtle difference. Explaining is simply telling someone about your situation. Complaining is when you have an attitude that says “I’m being inconvenienced.” (See Philippians 2:14-15.)
There will be times when keeping quiet in order to avoid complaining seems so hard you almost can’t stand it. But God will always give you the grace to do it. And if we ever want to arrive at our Promised Land, we need to stop complaining about the way God’s getting us there.
Sign 2: You’re Criticizing Somebody
Picture this. Someone says or does something you think they shouldn’t have done and all of a sudden, you’ve got about a hundred opinions about them that you want to talk about!
First Thessalonians 4:9 says, “But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another” (AMP).
In other words, sharing your critical opinions about other people is always a mistake. We need to cover one another with love, instead of uncovering their weaknesses and pointing out their flaws.
Sign 3: Your God Is Too Small
Whenever we say, “I can’t do this” or “It’s too much for me to take,” we’re actually defeating ourselves―and we’re not trusting God to get us through it.
What we need to say is, “God is bigger than every issue I will ever have to face, and I can do whatever I need to do through Christ who strengthens me.”
The Bible says that David ran quickly toward the battle line to face the giant Goliath. Sometimes we stare at our circumstances too long. We end up scaring ourselves half to death instead of believing God will give us the victory when we face our giants.
Sign 4: You’re Self-Inflated
We like to boast about what we’ve done, what we can do, and what we’re going to do. If we’re not careful, we can even take credit for things God did!
Everything we do, we should do it as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23) I don’t think we can even begin to know what God would do for us and the things He would allow us to participate in if we would learn to keep our successes a secret between us and God, unless He specifically gives us permission to share them.
Sign 5: You’re Standing in Judgment
Matthew 7:1 (NLT) says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” I think this is really important for Christians because we can get our religious, snooty noses up in the air. And if somebody does something wrong, they’re out of the group.
We can look at everybody else through a magnifying glass when we’re a mess ourselves and can’t even see it. So we need to remain humble before God and before others.
Sign 6: You’re Just Being Negative
The world is full of negativity. Instead of adding to that negativity, Christians need to be positive about the problems and circumstances we face.
We may not get everything we want, the way we want it, when we want it, but God will take care of us and give us grace to have joy and be positive in the midst of any situation. And that’s an awesome way to live.