If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . .

Esther 2: 21 – 24 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were hanged on a gallows. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.”

Some people are never happy. Here it was, a time of great celebration in the kingdom. The king had just taken a new queen. He had been generous with his gifts, had lowered the taxes, and was in an all-around good mood. You’d think everyone would be happy.

But here were these two officers who, for some reason or another, had decided that they wanted to kill the king. Perhaps they wanted to take over the throne, or perhaps they were just mad because their candidates for queen had not been chosen. But whatever the reason, they couldn’t just be happy.

Some things never change. No matter what the occasion, there will always be people who are angry and bitter, and who want to stir up trouble. No matter how generous and benevolent and kind we try to be, there will always be someone who isn’t happy.

But kings don’t like it when people whisper and plot against the throne. Mordecai overheard this wicked scheme, and got word to Esther. Xerxes was saved, and these men were destroyed.

The King of Kings doesn’t like it when we try to stir up trouble, either. Proverbs 6:16 – 19 says,

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Sometimes, we don’t think much about our whispered words of gossip and slander. We think, “What’s the harm? I live in a free country. I can say what I want.” But friends, we are wrong. We may think we will never be caught, but God hears every word we say. He wants us to be kind and compassionate to one another, and to build each other up. It is never His desire to see us whispering and gossiping and slandering and plotting and stirring up dissension.

And though we may not be hanged on the gallows, we will not go unpunished:

Numbers 14:18 “The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.”

So the next time we are tempted to speak unkind words, the next time we are tempted to whisper and plot against another person – particularly a person who is in authority over us – we might do well to remember Bigthana and Teresh. We need to be kind . . . or be quiet.

Dear Father, Please help me to control my thoughts and my speech. If I am angry or annoyed at someone, help me to speak of it only to You – in prayer. Help me to build others up with my words, not tear them down.


12 Responses to If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . .

  1. June 16, 2008 #

    Chloe update: Chloe is doing quite well, and the doctors are very pleased. Thanks for your continued prayers – she will be in the hospital for several weeks yet.

    God is so very good, isn’t He?


  2. June 16, 2008 #

    You’re never going to believe this. Today, in between telling EVERYBODY I know to pray for Chloe (the kids had whole classes praying for her during morning prayers), I sat down with my Bible. I read the passage where it opened and I laughed to myself and thought ‘Well, I can’t see how Renae can come up with this one today’!

    It was Proverbs 6:16-20.

    I’m feeling a little goose-bumpy now.

  3. June 16, 2008 #

    Jackie, I don’t know what to say. Perhaps we are twins separated at birth. Check your birth certificate – what is the date? LOL

  4. June 16, 2008 #

    Dear renae,
    I must admit I do have this problem with controlling my tongue running wild.
    I don’t think I’m telling lies or gossip much either, it’s just that I am too talkative and when I get angry I do have severe outbursts.
    Don’t now how many times I have had to ask for forgiveness, feeling crushed to pieces.
    My Dad, yes lot of the time I will refer to my Dad, ’cause he’s the man who has taught me the most, and done so in love not in hatred, he used to quote Solomon: “He who can conquer his tongue is greater than he who conquer a whole city.”
    I gu3ess I have a long way to go. By the Lord’s grace I am still his.
    From Felisol

  5. June 16, 2008 #

    Oh, Felisol, you and just about everybody else in this world! Your dad was right. We ALL have a hard time controlling our tongues. I suppose that is why there is so much written about it in God’s Word. But I have learned that practice makes perfect. It is hard, but the more we bite our tongues and refuse to speak ill of others, the easier it gets to control our speech.

    Thanks so much for the prayers.


  6. June 17, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    I guess my biggest problem is not speaking ill of others, but upfront to others.
    And I am so must elder than you. Hopefully the Lord will grant me time to improve, without trying me too hard!
    Yours Felisol

  7. June 17, 2008 #

    Hi Felisol! I guess there is a fine line between speaking our minds and saying too much. I would rather be around a person who speaks her mind to me, rather than behind my back. I am reminded of Paul’s words about speaking the truth in love – I suppose that is the key, don’t you?

    You are one of the most loving people I have encountered, so I know God is working through you. Of course, He won’t be finished with ANY of us until we stand before Him, will He?

    Love you, my friend!

  8. June 17, 2008 #

    We have started a Say Something Nice Sunday the first Sunday in June each year. Perhaps we can get others to join us and maybe one day will become two.

  9. June 17, 2008 #

    What a wonderful idea, Mitch! Thank you for sharing it with us. Perhaps the idea will spread.

  10. June 17, 2008 #

    CHLOE UPDATE: I just spoke with Jennifer, and you will not believe this! They have already taken many of Chloe’s tubes out. She simply doesn’t need them. And they decided to move her out of ICU already! Except, there was no bed available, so she will stay in ICU one more night, and move to a regular room tomorrow. They expected her to be in Intensive Care for a long, long time, but we are seeing the power of prayer in her life!

    Chloe has always had a bit of an olive complexion. Lovely, lovely girl. But now, her mother says she is as pink as a rose! Her counts (don’t ask me what counts) are dropping, which is proof that her new liver is already doing its job!

    Today, Chloe has been awake, and has said, “Mama,” “eye,” “meow,” and countless, “What’s that?” “What’s that?” “What’s that?”, while pointing at various things.

    She has not smiled yet. But under the circumstances, I don’t blame her.

    We need to continue to pray that she does not get any infections or illnesses; it is crucial that she stay very healthy in the coming weeks.

    Also pray for sleep for Jennifer and Mike.

    Thank you all so much for your continued prayers! God is answering them, big time! Love you all.


  11. June 17, 2008 #

    Renae, this is fantastic news! The Noise has just gone to sleep (11pm)! otherwise I would wake her up to tell her!

    She won’t be a bit surprised – she always assumes her prayers have been answered. We should all have the faith of this child!!

  12. June 17, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    those were wonderful news.
    Isn’t our Lord mighty?
    Prayer continue. As for the parents, I assume their daughter getting better so fast, must be the best help they’ll ever get.
    My friend says,we are never feeling better then our children are.
    That’s so true.
    Yours Felisol

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