Idle judgements and declarations
Therfore seith Seint Jerome: 'Dooth somme goode dedes that the devel, which is oure enemy, ne fynde yow nat unocupied.' - The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
I think that, in my own life, when my mind and hands are not occupied with "goode dedes" then my enemy has an opportunity to exploit them. And he does that far too often. I wonder how often he uses my idle words or the opportunities that I take to declare something to be this, that, or the other when, in fact, I don't know what I am talking about or I simply have not obtained (or cannot obtain) the information necessary to make the declaration or pass the judgement.
How many times have I said "This is the way it is..." when I am simply guessing? Can I really know why something is the way it is beyond the presented proximate cause(s) of the situation? Should I limit my understanding of what I see to the revelation found in God's Word? I think I have to maybe 97 out of 100 times I want to say that something is "this" rather than "that". It is so hard not to judge because I can still be so self important at times. I jump to conclusions about people and situations and show far too little grace to those that have a different perspective. It is way to easy to write them off as "naysayers" or "yes men" when they have simply done the same amount of work as me to comprehend a situation but have just run it through a different set of filters and lenses.
What it seems like it all comes down to for me is this: First and foremost I need to stick close to what I know to be true about God as revealed in His Word. There is no other source of knowledge - not even what I see and hear for I am far too much of a man to perfectly comprehend any situation. As a result I need to, second, seek understanding rather than seek to be understood. This will frame my interactions with those that are at odds with me. And, when someone does not agree with me, and does not seemingly violate a principle or command given to us in the Scriptures, I need to, finally, bow low to that person and pray for us lest the dispute stain our souls and God's reputation.
My idle judgements and declarations are just as much the playground of the Devil as my idle hands.
"Let them go, Mark."
"I will, Dad, but You have to help me. My God do I ever need your help."