Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “I said, ‘I will guard my ways so that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle as long as the wicked are in my presence.” Psalm 39:1 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “We are held to a higher standard.”
As Christians we know God holds us to a higher standard in our thinking, speaking, and acting. He expects us to be different than non-Christians. But we’re also held to a higher standard by the observing world. The truth is that the world expects us to practice what we preach and to behave better than they do.
It’s kind of funny that they would expect more of us than they do of themselves, but it’s true. An unbeliever can curse like a drunken sailor and they don’t see any problem with it, but if you respond to them with a word of profanity they will be surprised to hear such talk come out of your mouth and then they’ll accuse you of being a hypocrite.
Likewise, an unbeliever might receive too much change back from the cashier, and if they choose to keep it they might be thinking, “Well this is my lucky day!” as they slip the extra money into their pocket. But if they see you, a professing Christian, do the same thing, once again they will conclude that you are a hypocrite and that your professed faith evidently doesn’t make much of a difference in your life.
In Psalm 39:1 King David spoke of his efforts to guard his tongue so that he would not sin with his words. But then he also said that he was especially mindful of that when he was in the presence of the ungodly. It wasn’t that David didn’t make an effort at all times to control his speech, he did, but he was especially conscious of it when he was around unbelievers because a slip on his part, in their presence, would be a bad testimony.
The truth is that we are held to a higher standard of speech and conduct – by God Himself and also by the observing world. So paraphrasing the words of King David let me encourage you today to “put a muzzle on your mouth” – especially around non-Christians.