"It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." -Proverbs 19:2
When I write and speak, I desire to do so with conviction. In this blog, I often include links to sites or resources that verify what I am saying. If I feel unsettled having written something as if it were truth, but have not verified it myself; I must preface it as my opinion or find out what the truth of the matter is.
This means I must be so careful about what I write. Opinion is one thing, as is passion, but I'd rather have passionate truth, than emotional opinion.
You know how sometimes you'll pick up your Bible, skim through a chapter and something just jumps out at you? This verse did just that to me yesterday.
Zeal. Translated in other versions as soul, enthusiasm, desire.
Good ol' Webster defines zeal as: fervor; eager and ardent interest in pursuit of something.
When you are fired up over something and ready to respond with a hot retort, write it down, but also wait. "...nor (is it good) to be hasty and miss the way."
I took a speech class in college. Though, I don't remember anything else from that class, I do remember this: words, once escaped from your mouth, can never be taken back. You may be able to apologize and seek forgiveness, but the words can never be erased from the mind and heart of the one they have so offended.
I often find myself in this sort of a situation. And I don't often respond properly. Someone has just struck a nerve spiritually or politically and I am ready to fire back...and probably in a not-so-nice way.
Let your heart and mind settle. Pray. And then respond if you still feel that you ought. Consider 2 Timothy 2:24-26.
Now, back to the subject at hand. "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge..." If you're gonna speak about something, know what you're talking about. Be sure. Otherwise, don't say anything. What is that fantastic phrase? "It's better to let someone think you're a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it."
In a virtual world where everyone has an opinion and a soapbox to stand on. Sometimes, we take everything we read and hear as truth.
"Now these Jews (from Berea) were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." ~Acts 17:10-11The Berean's were commended for seeking out the truth for themselves of what they heard from the Apostles. There are a multitude of reputable sources of information and though it may weary us to do research that has already been done, make sure your sources are credible. Whoever reads what I write here may believe what I say, I certainly believe it, and my children will believe it. I must have truth deep in my heart and a desperate desire to seek it out in the areas where I am unsure. We must lead people in all truth and integrity.
Be passionate. Be zealous. But be sure you are standing rightly first.
"Be sure to put your feet in the right place,
then stand firm."