Open Mic At Bear Valley

Neal Pollard

It is one of the preacher or teacher’s public speaking nightmares. And it happened to me yesterday morning between Bible class and worship services. I had no clue until I began to be approached by multiple members. My wireless mic was “hot,” and I was visiting with several people and, true to form, I was having plenty to say. As far as I know, I said nothing personal or embarrassing, but after I was informed of my amplified voice I began thinking back to who I spoke to and what I said. My private conversations were being broadcast throughout the auditorium, foyer, nursery, and beyond.

The Bible gives us some insights into what the day of judgment will be like. How much is accommodative language and how much depicts what it will be like is something we must leave until we are there. Yet, there are some statements made that are not open to interpretation. Solomon writes, “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil” (Ecc. 12:14). There is appointed a day when “God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Rom. 2:16; cf. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10). Jesus taught, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mat. 12:36-37). Clearly, the words we speak—even those which are not public—are subject to the universal judgment at the end of time.

With that in mind, I want to be more careful to control that hard-to-tame tongue (cf. Jas. 3:2ff). Lying, gossiping, complaining, bitter, slanderous, angry, malicious, backbiting, or jealous words can flow freely, especially in private conversations. I may think I am covered by the cloak of secrecy or privacy, but how would I speak if I knew that everything I said what being broadcast for everyone to hear? If I could think of my speech in that way, how much more positively would I speak of others, of my own circumstances, of the church, and of my God?

Yesterday was good for me! If all of us could experience an unplanned moment like that at least once, it might cause us to reflect on what we are saying when we think that those around us can’t (or won’t) hear. It might help us live soberly, righteously, and godly in view of the end.

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6 thoughts on “Open Mic At Bear Valley

  1. Jeremiah schnell

    Well said, Neal. A lot of the nastiness that happened in our last election erupted from those moments thought to be “secret” that really were not. Both sides were guilty, and a couple truths emerged: 1- if you would be ashamed to say it in public, you shouldn’t say it in private. 2- the world has learned well to play the game of politics. It’s sad when you only learn the truth about someone when they think they are under cover of privacy. How much of that goes on in the “secret” or “closed” groups on social media?

  2. Sue Heinle

    Neal, the concept of you ever speaking a word of this kind, gossip, slander, etc, is inconceivable to me or anyone who knows you. You, my brother are much loved throughout the brotherhood for your godly behavior. But, your insightful words make us all take another look at our behavior, reminding us to watch our words with all diligence because God is listening on an “open” Mic.
    Much love, Sue

  3. Todd

    Brother, I realize this reveals my incorrigible juvenility, but I couldn’t help but be thankful you didn’t visit the restroom in between class and worship! Could only think of Leslie Nielson in one of those naked gun movies. By the way, the open mic trip to the restroom also happened to none other than Tom Holland!

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