Home | Truth Index

Visit the Walking In Truth Archives

COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
 

When Self-Suppression Is A Needed Thing
 
"A magnified image of self needs to be reduced. Too much pretension must be humbled. Selfish ambition must be cast down."
"Many people do not perceive the dangers of speech...But a horror of the harm that may be done by heedless words will assist in the cultivation of a habit of self-restraint."
- the above quotes are taken from the Pulpit Commentary - Old Testament
 
There are two specific times when the Bible says that self-suppression is demanded. These peculiar times were mentioned by Agur in his final words of warning in Proverbs 30:32 which says - "If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth."  
 
Agur narrowed down the problem to two areas. Self-suppression is needed:
 
1. In Rebuke Of Foolish Vanity
 
"If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself..."
 
2. In Restraint Of Evil Thinking
 
"...or if thou hast thought evil..."
 
Let's look at the first item - in rebuke of foolish vanity. This can entail several situations. Agur was referring to times when you may have spoken evil against a leader or a boss...made yourself despicable by arrogantly striving with another using offensive words... elevated or exalted yourself above another...gave yourself airs...rightly or wrongly made much of yourself... or showed yourself a fool by being arrogant, proud, or overbearing in your conduct after being elevated to a high position.
 
If you have "lifted up yourself" in any of the above mentioned ways, you have done "foolishly."
 
The second area that calls for self-restraint as mentioned by Agur in his final words of warning is - in restraint of evil thinking. This entails the contriving, designing, or scheming of evil. It is basically summed up in the word - troublemaking - making trouble for another. Something evil is thought out and designed with the full intent of carrying it out into execution.
 
If you have "thought evil," against another, you, too, have done "foolishly."
 
Self-suppression is demanded immediately. Any one of these actions must be stifled in their first motion. Thoughts cannot be allowed to come out of the mouth as words. And meditating and purposing evil designs against another cannot be carried into execution.   
 
Discreet and thoughtful demeanor is a necessity in a Christian's life. It is a must.
But how do you stop foolish boasting and runaway thoughts from wreaking havoc in your life?
 
Agur gives the answer - "...lay thine hand upon thy mouth."
 
The only way to stop boasting and troublemaking is to clap your hand over your mouth. This is a good way of saying - stop it...shut it off...or shut up! In other words, practice self-restraint!
 
Whatever you have to do to stop this behavior, do it before things get worse!
 
If you are guilty of foolishly lifting up yourself or thinking evil in your heart toward another, don't deny or excuse your wrongdoing. Don't try to defend yourself or lay the blame of your sin upon another.
 
If you acted foolishly in that you exalted yourself or made yourself despicable in other's sight, just drop it. Say not another word in your defense. It will only make matters worse. Take your shame in silence. Repent of the iniquity done. Change the subject immediately. Get it off of you and start talking about something else.  
 
If you will train yourself in self-suppression - especially in these two areas of boasting and troublemaking - you will prevent any future evil from coming your way and also make preparations for better conduct in the future.
 
You may not be able to undo the past. However, you can seek for the grace of God to curb any such sins from proceeding any further.
 
Once again, we examine our opening quotes -
 
"A magnified image of self needs to be reduced. Too much pretension must be humbled. Selfish ambition must be cast down."
"Many people do not perceive the dangers of speech...But a horror of the harm that may be done by heedless words will assist in the cultivation of a habit of self-restraint."
 
Boasting and troublemaking will see its final days in your life when you learn to reduce any magnified image of yourself...humble any pretension...and cast down selfish ambition. Also, you will eliminate much trouble from your life by keeping yourself back and not saying everything that comes to your mind.
 
Agur's final word to all of us is - You need Self-Suppression!
 
Keep your hand handy at all times - you just never know when you may need to clap it across your mouth!
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie

COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved