4/24/14: God Does Not Mince Words
As a wordsmith, I love words. I also enjoy a great turn of a phrase and finding out the origin of old sayings. The word “mince,” as used in the phrase “she doesn’t mince words” means “to soften, moderate, or weaken, especially for the sake of decorum or courtesy.” I would hear my mother use this adage when speaking of someone who had insulted, criticized, or offended another person. I took the idea of not mincing words to be a bad thing. I figured I was supposed to mince my words, as the definition suggests, for the sake of politeness. Mincing one’s words was simply a matter of courtesy.
As I grew older, though, I began to understand that there are times when words ought not to be minced. God gives us a perfect example of such a time through the writer of Psalm 50. Here, God speaks boldly to “the wicked” as He says, “What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you?” Psalm 50:16-17 (NKJ). God is clearly irked (another great word) by those who claim to speak for Him but who refuse to follow His teachings. He even has the Psalmist to clearly delineate some of the things these folk do:
- When you saw a thief, you consentedwith him
- [You] have been a partaker with adulterers
- You give your mouth to evil and your tongue frames deceit.
- You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. Psalm 50:18-20
Then comes the non-mincing of God’s words. “These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes” Psalm 50:21. Just because God has kept silent doesn’t mean He is approving of what’s happening. He hates being misrepresented, and that’s just what we do when we go around proclaiming to be Christians, yet our lives don’t correspond with His Word. This is especially heinous in those who go a step further to twist God’s Word attempting to force it to line up with their cause or agenda. God does not mince words. He calls those “wicked” who live and act in this manner. The Psalmist even says they have forgotten God, but leaves them with a final admonition:
- “Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” Psalm 50:22-23.
We only have a right to speak for God if we offer praise that glorifies Him and order our conduct to line up with His Word. God doesn’t mind being spoken about, but He takes issue with being spoken about by those who misrepresent Him with their lives. Worship God who is a straight-shooter, who cares enough about us not to mince His words, but to tell us how we should then live.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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