Remember that old movie about that “wimpy deer”? The title of it started with a “B.” It was a popular 90’s animated movie. The movie had a great supporting character who mic dropped conventional wisdom on the main character. The character was a bunny rabbit and his name rhymed with bumper. Ok so now your with me. There is this unforgettable line in the movie, you remember? Say it with me, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
Keep Your Mouth Shut
If you were to ask someone the question, “Do you want to love life and see good days?” Who in their right mind would say no to that? Of course you want to love the life you live and see good days. The bible gives us instruction on what it takes to live a life that you love full of good days. The problem is that our nature is the exact opposite of the bible’s guidance. The apostle Peter writes a letter to a group of people in a culture that is chaotic. In spite of the pressure of the culture around them his encouragement is to keep their mouths shut. “ Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” Sometimes we say things like, “well that was easy for them to say back then.” Yet, Peter in this same book tells us to honor God and the government. This is the very government that is persecuting him and his friends and will put them to death. So not so easy to say, but it is the way of Jesus and he must say it.
This is the opposite of what we find ourselves doing when we face opposition or difficulty in life. We are quick to talk, tweet, or post our frustrations, which are most often filled with evil toward whatever we are flustered with. This is the pattern of our hearts and the culture around us. Peter who has historically had a problem with keeping his mouth shut encourages us to do just that.
We must realize the words that come from our mouths reveal the things that are in our hearts. Jesus said that out of the overflow of our hearts our mouth speaks ( Luke 6:45). Proverbs 23:7 tells us that the person we will become is tied to how we think in our hearts. Peter knows this verse well. He is encouraging us to keep our mouths from evil so that our hearts will be protected from evil.
Those who love life do so from the abundance of their hearts. It’s not about the circumstances around us or the quality of life that we enjoy. It is the enduring peace that we have in our hearts. We can drive the nicest cars and live in the biggest house and hate life because we don’t have peace. This peace comes from having hope. Hope that is only found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He settles our hearts and gives us inner peace.
The next time you face difficulty or frustration and you can’t find anything good to say, focus your heart on Jesus. He is always good, and you will find yourself speaking the praises of His glorious grace.