If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;–Psalm 73:15-16
Every Christian would do well to study Psalm 73 in depth. In vs. 15-16 we see the constraint of a man in his confusion. Writer Selwyn Hughes paraphrased these verses like this– the first step the psalmist took, the step which helped to save him from spiritual disaster, was most surprising. In the midst of overwhelming temptation, he says to himself: “If I give expression to my doubts and speak out of my envious, discouraged heart, I will put a stumbling-block in someone else’s path – hence I will not say anything at all“. Then he proceeded to say, many people may find it difficult to accept this as the first step on the road to recovery – but it worked, nevertheless. Listen to what one commentator says about this first step: “Our reaction to the discovery of what his first step was in his process of recovery will be a very good test of our spiritual understanding.” What does he mean? He means that if we fail to see that the steps of faith are sometimes very ordinary, then we are not as spiritual as we imagine. It’s all right to have your head in the clouds, but make sure your feet are firmly planted on the earth! Keep in mind, then, that the thing which stopped the spiritual slide of the psalmist was very simple and ordinary – he made a decision not to say what was on the tip of his tongue. He stopped to think. Rather than spread his unbelief, he determined to keep his mouth shut; rather than threaten someone else’s spiritual understanding, he resolved not to act on impulse. It might not have been a particularly high spiritual motive, but it was the thing that prevented him from falling.
In light of this, it would do us good to remember what James wrote in James 1:19-20,”—let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Think about it!