First, I want to thank you for your patience while I took the week off to serve those in our community! It was a fantastic event and such an honor and privilege to be used of the Lord in working with Kenneth Copeland Ministries! Now on to our study...
As we close in on completing this study, I have to say I have found that there are always complimentary reflections on "a time to..." There is always a time to act this way and do that or to not act this way or not to do that. Today, we are focusing on two things I struggle with: when to be silent and when to speak. Here's what the verse says:
I want to talk about the second part of the verse first. A time to keep silent...
I enjoy talking. I like to "visit" and chit-chat and learn more about others while telling them about myself. I used to like to gossip, though. Now, I didn't think it was gossip at the time, but that was a lie Satan was telling me. Do you know what gossip is?! It is talking about someone or something that really has nothing to do with you at all! When I would talk to my girlfriends about another woman being too skinny or another dressing too revealing or the hair of yet another woman, that was gossipping! This is the time to keep silent, at least when it comes to speaking about these women. If you have concerns for a sister in the Lord, don't talk about those concerns to other women. Go to the ladies directly. OR better yet, go to the Lord and see how He would have you handle the situation.
As I mentioned above, there are always complimentary reflections. So there is a time to speak up, too! Matthew 18:15 says that if your brother (or sister!) sins against you, go and tell her of her fault, but keep it between you and her alone. And Luke 17:3 tells us that we should pay attention and always be on our guard, looking out for one another. If your brother (or sister) sins, tell her and correct her. If she repsonds, forgive her even if it's seven times throughout the day.
Moving back to the first part, I researched this as much as I could. I am still confused about the part that says there is a time to rend (tear apart, cut away). I think this part of the Scripture might mean that there are some things in our lives-relationships, business ventures, lifestyles, thoughts-that we may need to cut out. Maybe we watch television shows that slowly introduce situations that are not pleasing to God. Maybe we have friendships that are stealing our joy and actually have pulled us away from a strong relationship with the Lord. And Maybe we've just allowed the things of the world to become more and more prevalent in our lives. Cutting those things out of our lives will be difficult. If being a Christian and living a Christ-like life were easy, I believe more people would commit their lives to Jesus! Be ready to stay dedicated to living for the Lord!
A time to sew is one of my favorite lines! You'll notice sew in this instances does refer to sewing with thread, not sowing as in sowing seed. One version says "a time to mend." I like that! There are times when relationships are torn apart by our words and actions. And we need to recognize our role in that and make an effort to mend and heal that broken relationship.
This week, let's look at this verse with a deep honesty with ourselves. Are there things we need to cut out of our lives? Things we need to mend? Be more aware of times when we should just not say anything and times when we should speak up!