About thirty years ago, I was a young pastor sitting in a long and spirited business meeting during our yearly denominational convention. A topic on the agenda was getting some heated response from the floor of the convention body.
My pastor, Roy Hicks, Jr., was seated on the platform as one of the officiants of the meeting. In the middle of that very long meeting Roy got up and walked out to take a break. As he walked down the aisle past hundreds of people he passed by a group of us younger pastors who were seated together. Roy had raised each of us in ministry and sent us out to plant our first churches. He was our spiritual father.
Each of us were filled with all kinds of personal opinions and wanted to be heard on the subject being addressed. As the meeting progressed, we began to whisper our opinions back and forth between each other hoping we might craft something to say that would sound wise beyond the years of our limited experience. Roy could see the youthful impatience in our eyes from the platform. As Roy walked down the aisle toward the back door, he never glanced our way. As he passed by he leaned slightly in our direction and without breaking stride whispered, “Don’t say anything stupid!”
I never forgot that situation or Roy’s words. What wise advice for those of us who live in the age of immediate and undisciplined social media interaction. When the issues of life become heated in the public arena it is all too easy to say stupid things in the heat of the moment and forget that a fruit of the Spirit – self-control – is the vehicle in which our wisdom is communicated in a timely and Spirit-led manner. By the way, “stupid” in the dictionary means “1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse. 2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.” Here’s to not saying stupid things in the name of God when our culture and some in the Church are filled with passion and the desire to be heard.