Someone once said, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
Good advice, I suppose.
But I wonder why we can’t find anything nice to say.
As Christ-followers, shouldn’t we be the ones who practice the qualities of love found in 1 Corinthians 13? Shouldn’t we be the first to speak words of compassion, kindness, and love toward others?
Silence is not golden because it leaves people to their own thoughts, which are sometimes filled with self-loathing and despair.
So, why do we either say nothing or lash out in anger? Why the extremes?
Why do we tend to expect and see the worst in people?
Why do we have a nasty habit of not believing the best about someone?
Why are we so quick to point out their sins without pointing first and foremost to the Redeemer and Restorer?
I went through a long season where I was in a bad way and made many foolish and sinful decisions.
I wounded many.
I disappointed legions.
In the wake of my sin, I left a lot of people devastated and bleeding.
And there are no excuses for my foolish choices.
Furthermore, there are a lot of discouraging things that happen when your life goes off the rails.
When you’re guilty of abandonment, you suffer a lot of abandonment. And more than most believe, I understand their anger toward me.
I have many regrets and will live with at least some of the consequences of my actions for a long time (if not for the rest of my life).
However . . .
Whatever I have suffered and whatever I am going through now is not the end of my story.
Like it or not (and if you are a victim, you don’t like it), God still speaks life into the darkness.
Jesus is the one who never leaves the one behind. He never gives up on us, even when we give up on ourselves. Our Savior pursues us even when we are running from Him as quickly as we can.
Even though He sees my past, present, and future idiocy, I still have his enduring affection.
Jesus is the one who breaks the shame that threatens to destroy me as He lifts my eyes to His—eyes filled with grace, compassion, and mercy.
And thankfully, you and I are never bad enough to be abandoned by Him.
When I ache, moan, and suffer for my many sins, God wraps His arms around me and whispers, “You are still mine. Stay surrendered to Me. Trust Me to restore you and renew your life. Let’s get up and try again.”
He’s not ashamed to be seen with me. He’s never embarrassed by me. And He never turns His back on me in rejection.
There are times and seasons when shame attempts to knock at my heart’s door. Sadness threatens to overwhelm my soul while I scream in self-hatred for much-deserved punishment. My sins haunt me in the worst moments, throwing everything I have done wrong in my face.
Trust me, the enemy is not silent either and constantly hisses dreadful half-truths at me.
But what stops Satan’s voice of despair?
What turns off the deafening and defeating self-talk in my head?
The voice of His written Word.
The voice of the Holy Spirit.
And the voice of the redeemed and fellow fractured saints who look me in the eye and declare boldly, “God is bigger than all your regrets, Kurt. Though you have fallen and failed, Jesus is better than all your sin. And He loves to make us models of His goodness and grace. He is not finished with you yet and your story is still being written.”
Silence kills. Silence is not golden. We need to hear from Him, and we need to hear from each other.
Encourage, comfort, build up, and always bless
the downhearted with your words.
Never stop speaking life to each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (BPV)