Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Before opening mouth, engage brain

Proverbs 29:20
Do you see a man who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Some people have an opinion about everything, and they make sure you know what it is. Even if they haven't studied the issue or taken time to consider all the options, they're quick to get their word in (I won't say "speak their mind" because that would imply they actually think about what they say). This has become more noticeable in this age of immediate feedback and instant communication, where it's so easy to comment on a FaceBook status, tweet something on Twitter, or fire off an e-mail before we've had time to even process the full meaning of what we're reacting to.

When asked what you think about something, don't feel pressured to respond right away. Some people feel that if they can't give an answer on the spot, they will be perceived as uninformed or unintelligent. But you actually look more foolish when you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, instead of taking time to formulate an informed opinion.

Sometimes, our first thought is a great zinger or one-liner. And we want to get it out there before we forget it. But after we let it fly, we realize how biting and hurtful it was, and wish we could take it back. But the damage is done, especially online. Even if we go back and delete our comment, it may have already been seen by dozens, or even hundreds, of people. We might can erase it from FaceBook, but the damage to our reputation has already occurred.

So don't be so quick to speak. Slow down. Investigate. Evaluate. Then speak with measured words, making sure you are saying what you mean to say.

Don't react -- respond thoughtfully.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Points of Light / Puntos de Luz

This morning, part of my Bible reading had me in Philippians chapter 2. Even though I had spent a few months earlier this year memorizing Philippians, today this one verse really caught my attention.

Philippians 2:15 --
so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

No one wants to go outside at night and look up at black emptiness. The thing that draws people outdoors at night isn’t the darkness of the night sky, but the shining points of light breaking through that darkness. The countless stars shining down make us realize how big and great the God who created the universe is.

Is my light shining? Am I standing out in contrast to the darkness of the world? Is there light in my life that makes people think about the greatness of God? Or am I so well-adjusted to the culture around me that I fit into it without even thinking (Romans 12:2, The Message)?

Esta mañana, parte de mi lectura bíblica me tenía en Filipenses capítulo 2. Aunque había pasado unos meses este año memorizando el libro de Filipenses, hoy este versículo me llamó la atención.

Filipenses 2:15 –
para que sean intachables y puros, hijos de Dios sin culpa en medio de una generación torcida y depravada. En ella ustedes brillan como estrellas en el firmamento,

Nadie quiere salir afuera en la noche para mirar hacia arriba a un vacío negro. Lo que llama la gente afuera en la noche no es la oscuridad del cielo nocturno, sino los brillantes puntos de luz que rompen esa oscuridad. Las estrellas inumerables enviando su luz hacia abajo nos hacen reconocer lo grande y maravilloso que es el Dios quien creó el universo.

¿Está brillando mi luz? ¿Estoy marcando un contraste con la oscuridad del mundo? ¿Hay luz en mi vida que hace la gente pensar en la grandeza de Dios? ¿O estoy tan ajustado a la cultura alrededor que encajo en ella sin pensarlo (Romanos 12:2, The Message)?