Last night I had a young Christian lady over for dinner, a student at the local seminary. My children were also at the table, two of whom have no use for Christians. I was hoping for a fruitful exchange, but the conversation fell flat: Neither I nor the young lady said the kinds of things I had hoped.
Later in the evening, my friend David phoned and asked me how the dinner had gone. I oozed negativity: It was a flop in terms of witnessing to my kids, I said, and I went into detail.
David gently exhorted me not to say such things. He said there is no telling what small word or comment might strike deep into a person's heart, even rather feeble-sounding words. He reminded me that God can do amazingly with the paltry loaves and fishes we offer. He furthermore reminded me that it is always good to take a hopeful attitude about any situation in which we have tried to share our faith, because that perspective is more in accordance with faith.
I was gently rebuked-again. This time I am determined not to let it happen again, not to be found spewing unbelief, even in its very common and acceptable whiny forms.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths …" (Ephesians 4:29).
I know I can do this by God's grace, for it is He who commands it and gives the grace for it (Hebrews 13:20-21; Ephesians 3:20). And if ever I do slip up, I know that when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to not only forgive us our sins but also to cleanse us from all the remaining garbage (1 John 1:9).
It is good to have friends who keep pulling me up to the life worthy of the Lord:
"… walk in a manner worthy of the calling …" (Ephesians 4:1).
Jesus says, "Be ye perfect." That means hating even the negative little utterances that we are wont to allow ourselves all the livelong day. The Lord said that if we utter worthy and not worthless things, we will be His spokesman (Jeremiah 15:19). I want to be his spokesman.