PONDERING INSTEAD OF TELLING

Mary had a lot to think about. She had spiritual experiences far deeper than most of us have had.  Angels talking and singing.  Wise men bringing valuable gifts. Prophecies made in the temple at the dedication of her baby. And she could have chosen to talk about them to everyone–exalting herself to a pinnacle of spiritual authority.  She wisely chose to be quiet.  It worked out for her own humility and for the good of those who might set her in a place she should not be.

John Newton, (one of my favorite dead preachers), warned us to be cautious in speaking of our spiritual experiences for the good of others and our own  temptation to pride.

“…I would observe in general that there is a wisdom and caution to be used in speaking of our experiences–perhaps not all things, nor to all persons.  We should endeavour to suit what we tell them of ourselves to what we judge is their state and attainment, lest we discourage when we would comfort and offend when we would instruct” (Mary Lynn Rouse,  365 Days with Newton, (Day One Publications, England), 10 December).

He adds, in the same sermon preached in 1770,

“It is right and our duty to declare upon proper occasions and within the bounds of prudence what God has done for our souls, but if he is pleased to lead us in an extraordinary way and to favour us with peculiar comforts, it is not always easy to preserve a right spirit where self is closely concerned.”

Sometimes it is just better to think about things, to be quiet.

Mary pondered all these things in her heart….What are you holding close?

About Carol Brandt

I earned a B.A. in History from Florida State University and M.Ed in.Higher Education from Florida Atlantic University. I taught high school social studies before “retiring” to full-time homemaking and raising two daughters. Now I love being a grandmother to four boys and a girl. I have also raised five collies.

My husband, John, was an optometrist, who worked tirelessly for his profession through private practice and as a consultant, and served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College of Optometry for twenty years.

Ernest Reisinger was my chief mentor in this warm-hearted application of Calvinism. He gave me many books! The Founders Journal and Founders Conferences, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Charles Spurgeon have been other sources of Reformed thinking as well as the other warm-hearted ones listed in my book, “Warm-hearted Calvinists.”

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