Often we have heard the saying:
“Think before you speak.”
George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation includes the following:
73rd Rule – Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.
While this is good advice it is still lacking. Why is that? Many of us think before speaking. We think about how the other person is wrong. How they are misjudging us. That they obviously don’t understand. Maybe if we showed them the error of their ways they would change their thinking, etc.
See we do think before we speak. Yet we as believers need to do more. We need to:
“Think before we speak,
then speak only with the mind of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. ESV
This is from the passage where Paul is speaking about how the unspiritual, natural man doesn’t understand the spiritual things, the things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12-16
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. ESV
So even if we do speak with the mind of Christ that does not mean those we are speaking with will understand.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ESV
We should have had our minds renewed and not be conformed to the world.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: KJV
Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ESV
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ESV