Surviving the Stones

2 Samuel 16:13
“And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.”

While David fled for his life from Absalom’s treasonous act, he came across Shimei, a loyalist to Saul, who cursed and cast stones at him. The servants of David asked if they could kill him, but he refused to grant their request. David said in verse 11, “…let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.” David completely understood that he didn’t need to respond in the same hateful manner of a man who was hurting because he lost his leader.

If you serve the LORD in any leadership position for any length of time, you are going to find yourself in the same position as David. People who should be thrilled with what you are doing will only cast stones and try to destroy you. No, they won’t be real stones, but they will be stones of slander, gossip, verbal attacks and spreading of misinformation about you. Surviving these stones is more determined by how you react to them. There are five things you need to do to survive the stones.

First, remember that God is in control. In verse 12, David totally understood that God was in control, and he didn’t want to interfere with God’s providential hand. You will never survive the stones being cast your way as long as you fight against God. God is very capable of taking care of your situation; you are just going to have to trust Him that He will take care of you during the struggle. God has never failed to care for you in the past, and He is not about to stop caring for you now.

Second, don’t return the stones. David had every opportunity to have this man killed, but he left him alone. Don’t pick up the stones being cast at you and throw them back at those hurling the attacks. You will become no better than those who cast the stones if you return the attacks. Trust God’s providential hand to protect you; He is very capable of keeping you safe and useful.

Third, learn from the stones being cast. David said in verse 11, “…the LORD hath bidden him.” There is a lesson in the battle you are facing, and it should be your desire to learn that lesson. Always ask yourself while the stones are being hurled what you need to change in your life. Ask yourself what the LORD is trying to teach you. I have found that every time I go through one of these situations in my life that the LORD is trying to teach me another lesson so that I can be more useful to Him.

Fourth, don’t take the stones being cast personally. Shimei thought he was being loyal to Saul, and he was also a hurting man because Saul was dead. Always remember that those casting the stones are doing so out of hurt or because they have been broken by sin. Don’t let the stones being hurled your way become a personal attack. Understand that it is a reaction to something going on in their life.

Fifth, be refreshed in the LORD. David and his men continued on and were refreshed. If you will continue on and do what you are supposed to do, you will find that the LORD will refresh your soul. You can endure the stones being cast your way with a good spirit, but it will only happen if you follow these five steps. If you follow these five steps, you will find that you will survive, and you will become a better Christian because of it.

Dangerous Times

2 Samuel 11:1
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”

There are times in life that are more dangerous than others. These are times when sin is at the door, and these are times when you must be most vigilant so that you don’t succumb to sin’s temptation. Many good people have fallen during these times all because they were not watchful during these dangerous times.

In the verse above, David came across one of those dangerous times. Sadly, his dangerous time ended in an affair with Bathsheba, and totally changed the course of his life. Had David been vigilant during this dangerous time, he might not have fallen in sin. This event in David’s life exposes five dangerous times when you must be vigilant.

First, you must be vigilant in alone times. David was alone when he saw Bathsheba in an indecent situation. Many people have fallen to sin’s temptation when they were alone. You must be very careful when you are alone that you don’t do things that you would not do if you were with others. The Devil will use your alone times to tempt you in ways you would not normally be tempted. Be on guard when you are alone.

Second, you must be vigilant in still times. The verse above says that “David tarried still at Jerusalem.” When you have nothing to do, be careful of the temptations that will arise. You have heard that idle time is the Devil’s workshop, and this saying is true. When you find yourself in still times, fill them with prayer and walking with God so that you avoid the temptations that could destroy your life.

Third, be vigilant in out-of-routine times. David was supposed to go to battle, but he got out of his routine and stayed home. Routines are good guards against temptation. You may think that you need to change your routine to keep life from becoming mundane, but those routines are your wall of defense against temptation. When you find yourself out of your routines, be extra careful of temptation and quickly get yourself back to the safety guards of routines.

Fourth, be vigilant in night times. It was at night that David was tempted to commit adultery. My friend, the Devil works in the dark. You must be extra watchful in the nighttimes that you don’t do something you will regret for many years to come. I have found the best guard against those nighttime temptations is to be inside. You won’t find yourself exposed to the strange woman and the evils of night if you make it your habit to be inside at night.

Fifth, be vigilant in exposed times. When David’s sin was exposed, he made the mistake of committing more sin in an attempt to cover it up. Christian, it is always better to face the embarrassment of repentance than to cover up sin and endure sin’s destruction. Don’t make the same mistake that David made of covering up sin when it is exposed; instead, let your exposed time lead you to repentance.

Everyone faces these dangerous times. Be careful of them and do your best to avoid them. Yield yourself to the Holy Spirit and walk with God; this is the best way to make it through these times without falling.

Four Dangers of Personality-Driven Christianity

2 Samuel 2:30
“And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel.”

When Saul died, there broke out a fierce battle between the men who followed Saul and the men who followed David. The battle was over which family was going to take the throne of Israel. The people knew that David was anointed king, but there were loyalists to Saul who were not going to let this happen. The result was that many people lost their lives, and the testimony of God’s people was harmed to the surrounding countries.

This problem is an every generation problem. People tend to focus on a man and follow him, and the result is that needless battles are fought and innocent people are hurt. The Christian is to stay focused on Jesus Christ. Personalities come and go, but Christ lives forever. I find that there are four dangers of personality-driven Christianity.

First, it leads people to live a faithless life. Following man is sight driven and not faith driven. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” The Christian will never please God until they walk by faith. When you allow yourself to be driven by personality, that personality dictates what you do. You must understand that a personality cannot answer prayer. The need to stay focused on Christ is imperative to the Christian’s existence.

Second, it always leads to hurt. When you look at this story, you see several people lost their lives because they were fighting over personalities. Though Christians may not go to actual battle, the fight over personalities always leads to hurt. They will be hurt when they discover the personality’s weaknesses, and they will be hurt by the evil attacks of other Christians. Let us always remember that no personality should ever be the issue; the issue is Jesus Christ.

Third, it hurts the cause of truth. These men were not fighting over truth; they were fighting over personalities. We are commanded in Jude 1:3 to “earnestly contend for the faith…” We are not commanded to contend for personalities, but for the faith. My friend, truth always suffers when we fight over personalities and make them our primary focus. You must be careful that you don’t let your admiration for a personality to get you focused on them instead of truth. Personality-driven Christianity will do anything, including hurting others, just to stay close to the personality; don’t let that be your drive.

Fourth, it keeps souls from being saved. All the energy you use to fight over a personality is wasted time that could be used to reach lost souls for Christ. Imagine how many more souls could be saved if we used the same passion and energy of fighting for personalities to try to win souls. One of the greatest reasons we must not be personality driven is because souls hang in the balance, and their eternal destiny cannot be settled for Heaven when they never hear the Gospel because of personality-driven battles.

If you stay focused on faith, you will never become a personality-driven Christian. Be careful not to get in battles over personalities and realize your focus should be on the faith. Keeping your focus on the faith and reaching lost souls will keep you from these dangers of personality-driven Christianity.

Mental Warning Lights

1 Samuel 27:12
“And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.”

Many electronic products have warning lights to warn you that something is going bad. The purpose of the warning light is to get you to stop what you are doing so that you don’t destroy the product. You can choose to ignore the warning, but you will pay for it when it’s broken.

It would be nice in life if we could have warning lights on the decisions that we make. I believe that most people want to do right. Often, when I counsel people, they desire to want to know if they are doing the right thing. In reality, they want me to be the warning light concerning the decision they are about to make.

God didn’t make us with warning lights. No light flashes when we are about to make a mistake. However, the story of David running to the Philistines gives the Christian several warning lights concerning decision-making. David had his fair share of bad decisions. Yes, he was the man after God’s own heart, but that didn’t make him impervious to bad decisions. It was a bad decision to join the Philistines in order to save his life. Four indicators are given in this decision that should be your warning light that you are making a bad decision.

First, when you are making a decision based on how it benefits self rather than right or wrong, you are about to make a bad decision. The reason David ran to the Philistines was because he was running for his life. Selfishness always leads you to make bad decisions. If your decision is based on self, the warning light should be flashing not to make that decision. You should always base a decision on right or wrong; they should never be based on how you benefit from them.

Second, a decision that takes you from God’s people is always a bad decision. David ran to the enemy of God instead of running to the God Who preserved him to that point. Right decisions always push you closer to God’s people. Right decisions take you towards God and away from the world. Your mental warning light should flash when a decision is going to take you away from the right crowd.

Third, it is always a bad decision when you are concerned with who will find out. David killed everyone when he fought for the Philistines because he didn’t want anyone to find out. Proverbs 28:1 reminds us, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” If you are making the right decision, you won’t care who finds out what you are doing. When you have to hide what you are doing, that act alone should be your warning that you are not doing the right thing.

Fourth, bad decision pull you away from what God meant you to be. David was meant to lead Israel, but he was fighting for the enemy. When your decisions pull you away from what you know is right and from what God has called you to do, it should be the indicator that you shouldn’t do it. A right decision will draw you closer to God and help you do more of what God has called you to do.

My friend, you don’t have a physical warning light, but God gave you a mental warning light that is calibrated from His Word. If you study God’s Word regularly, your mental warning light will flash when you are about to make a wrong and hurtful decision. You would be wise to heed the warning light.

Changing Garments

1 Samuel 18:4
“And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.”

A powerful story is found in the friendship between David and Jonathan. The verse above shows the power of this friendship when “Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David.” Jonathan knew very well that those robes were the robes of a future king. When he stripped himself of this clothing, he was literally giving up his future for his friend.

This story could cause me to write about the power of friendship, the value of loyalty, or the power of a promise. However, I see something greater represented in this story that is more powerful than these truths. What I see in this story is the picture of what salvation does for the believer. Please let me explain.

Jonathan stripped himself of his robes so that he could give them to David. Likewise, Jesus stripped Himself of His robes to take on the fashion of a man. He left the pleasures of Heaven to take on the robes of flesh for one reason: YOU. Only one thing could ever cause Jesus to do this, and that is His love for mankind.

Jonathan didn’t just strip himself of his robes, but He gave them to David. My friend, this is a great picture of salvation. Jesus stripped himself of His robes so that He could clothe you in His righteousness. He didn’t have to do this, but He did it because He loves you. It is not of your righteousness that you are going to Heaven, but it is because of Jesus’ righteousness that you have the opportunity to be saved.

Jonathan also gave David his sword, just like God gave you His Word so that you can grow in grace. The Word of God is a sword that pierces “to the dividing asunder” to show you what you need to change so that you can grow in the LORD. Jesus could have just saved you, but He did more than that, He gave you His Word so that you can grow.

Jonathan also gave “to his bow,” just like Jesus gave you His promise of eternal security. The bow reminds me of the rainbow which is a picture of God’s eternal promises. When a person gets saved, God promises them eternal life. This should encourage you and take any fear away that you must do something to keep your salvation. My friend, it is not your righteousness’ that keeps you saved; it is being clothed in Jesus’ righteousness that keeps you saved.

Jonathan also stripped himself to his girdle, which is a picture of Jesus giving us His Holy Spirit power to live the Christian life. Jesus didn’t leave you on your own to live for Him, but He gave you His Holy Spirit to enable you to live that victorious Christian life.

Why did Jesus do all of this for us? The answer is found in verse 5. He saved us to serve the LORD wheresoever He sends us. “…David went out whithersoever Saul sent him…” Christian, God didn’t save you to sit and do nothing, but He saved you to serve Him. All that Christ did for you should be the motivation you need to live a holy life so that you can be a better representative of Him. Jesus is willing to clothe others with His righteousness, and you are the servant to spread this good news. Let me encourage you to let this story be the catalyst to go wherever and do whatever Christ’s asks you to do.

Subtraction is Better Than Addition

1 Samuel 12:19
“And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.”

We often hear how we need to add to our Christian life, but one of the things that is so often ignored is the importance of subtracting from it. It is important to add what the Scriptures tell us to do to our Christian life, but it is as important to subtract those things that hinder us from serving the LORD. If you don’t subtract, the addition won’t equal what the LORD desires out of your life.

Israel never seemed to learn the value of subtraction. It seemed that they always did wrong, and afterwards asked for forgiveness. The verse above is a great example of Israel’s inability to quit adding to their sins. They realized after they asked for a king that they had “added unto all” their sins. There needed to be a point in their lives when they stopped adding and started subtracting from their evil ways.

Sadly, I find that many Christians fall into the same trap of asking forgiveness over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you should quickly repent of your sin once you do it, but don’t keep on going back and doing the same thing over again. At some point you need to mature as a Christian so that you are not constantly doing the same thing. You need to learn to subtract those sinful habits from your life. Let me make three statements concerning this truth.

First, forgiveness is not a crutch to sin. You have certainly heard the statement, “Forgiveness is easier to get than permission.” This statement is wrong in its core because the sincere Christian wouldn’t want to sin. If you truly desire to serve the LORD, you would not want to hurt your Saviour by doing wrong. Just because you know that God forgives doesn’t mean that you should sin. Yes, God forgives, but let me also remind you that God’s “…spirit shall not always strive with man…” Just because God showed mercy the last time doesn’t mean He is obligated to show it again.

Second, the best “I’m sorry” is doing right. You can say “I’m sorry” a hundred times, but God would rather you do right than to say that you are sorry continually. Certainly, you should be sorry for your sin, but God desires obedience. God says in 1 Samuel 15:22, “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” Yes, you should apologize to the LORD, but let your next apology be the action of doing right.

Third, when in doubt, don’t. The best way to keep from continually doing wrong is not to do what you continually do. God has given you a brain to think, and you should use your brain to think before you act. If you are in doubt of whether something is right, don’t do it. God says in Romans 14:23, “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” My friend, doubt is the Devil’s greatest tool to deceive Christians. He used doubt against Eve to get her to sin, and he uses it against you to cause you to do wrong. The best rule to use to avoid sin is when you are in doubt of whether it is right to do, don’t do it.

There comes a point in your life when you need to subtract wrong actions. You will never enjoy victory in your Christian life until you learn to subtract them. If you just do right, you will learn that subtraction is not that hard to do.

You’re Not So Wonderful

1 Samuel 10:27
“But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.”

One thing I have learned after living in the ministry my entire life is that you will never make everyone happy. I watched my father pastor for many years, and it didn’t matter how kind he was, there were always people who didn’t like him or his leadership. As an evangelist, one of the common things I deal with preachers about is their handling of those who are causing problems in the ministry. No matter who you are, and no matter what your leadership style may be, you are not so wonderful that everyone is going to love you.

Saul found this out very early in his reign. Everyone should have been excited about their new king, but Saul found out that there were naysayers who criticized him and his leadership, even though he hadn’t done anything. His response to their criticisms was to stay silent and let his works speak for themselves.

There are always two groups of people with whom you will have to work. There will be those whose hearts God touches, and these people will be the backbone of your ministry and help you to further the cause that God. However, there is another group of people who, for whatever reason, will stay in your ministry, but they will cause you much heartache. These people will criticize and critique everything you do, but you must not let them get your spirit. Saul has his children of Belial, David had his Shimei, Moses had his sons of Korah, and Jesus had his Judas Iscariot. You are not so wonderful that you won’t have the same problems these men had.

Let me caution you not to allow the crowd of naysayers to pull you away from what God has called you to do. Many men have changed what they believed in an attempt to stop the criticisms, but you will find that changing won’t stop it. The best thing you can do as a leader is to stand strongly for the old paths and never let the criticisms change you. Don’t let their critique’s lure you into compromise.

Moreover, be careful that you don’t let these people affect your spirit. Saul was wise in staying silent. Many men have become spiteful because of the criticisms of the children of Belial. You have to be careful that you don’t use the power of your position to make your pulpit a whipping post for your critics. I have always said that those who are critical are people who are hurting because they are broken by sin. Don’t let their brokenness turn you into a spiteful leader. Continue to be a joyful person and love those people because one day you may be able to help them when they come to their end.

Furthermore, be careful to correct any area of your ministry where their criticisms are correct. Don’t be so obstinate that you are going to ignore where they are right. You will find that critics often take a bit of truth and blow it out of proportion. You need to correct where they are right so you can be a better leader to those who are behind you. Maybe God allowed the critics to voice your weakness so that you can correct it and better help others.

My friend, people are going to criticize, but your response will determine how you much you continue to help others. Don’t take the criticisms personally; just correct those areas where they are right and continue to pray for God to change their hearts.

As She Continued

1 Samuel 1:12
“And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.”

Most people have heard of Hannah and her desire for a child. For a reason unbeknownst to her husband and her, God had closed her womb. This was a grief to her soul because she desperately wanted a child. It wasn’t until she prayed to the LORD that God opened her womb and gave her Samuel, who became one of the greatest prophets of Israel.

What was it that caused her prayer to be answered? It wasn’t the money that she and her husband gave that got God’s attention. There is certainly nothing wrong with giving money to God in an offering, but it wasn’t the size of their offerings that grabbed God’s attention. It wasn’t her faithfulness to church that got her prayer answered. Though she and her husband yearly went to the house of the LORD, that is not what got her prayer answered. It wasn’t that she was a submissive wife that caused her prayers to be answered. How she met her husband’s needs and submitted to his leadership was not what got God’s attention. There is nothing wrong with any of these things, but this is not what got her prayer answered.

I believe the answer is found in the verse above when it says, “…as she continued praying…” It was the continual prayer that caused her prayer to be answered. It was that willingness not to leave the throne of God that got her prayer answered. When Hannah had the determination to stay on her face before God no matter how long it would take, it was that action that caused her prayer to be answered. It was the determination to stay at Jesus’ feet until He granted her request.

I believe one of the reasons Christians don’t get their prayers answered is because they are not willing to continue until the LORD comes through. At the first moment of inconvenience the average Christian quits praying. When the prayer isn’t answered in the desired timeline of the individual praying, most quit the prayer and complain that God doesn’t hear their prayers.

Let me ask you, are you serious enough to stay on your face before God in prayer? Are you willing to stay there until God answers your prayer? It was Jacob who wrestled with God to the point that he said, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” (Genesis 32:26) Jacob had that continuing power in prayer just like Hannah, and it was that continuing power that got her prayers answered.

My friend, the five-minute prayer is not what grabs God’s attention. It is the “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) You can read every book on prayer, but you will see a scant amount of prayers answered until you are burdened and hungry enough to stay on your face before God.

Do you need God to supply your financial need? Do you need God to come through for your health needs? Do you need God to work a miracle in your marriage? Do you need something to change in your life? Let me give you one word: CONTINUE! It is the prayer of the saint who continues until they get the answer who sees God do great works through their lives. When everything else has failed, let me encourage you to continue.

The Test of Obedience

Judges 20:23
“(And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)”

The children of Benjamin and the rest of the tribes of Israel were in a civil war because of a heinous crime that had been committed in Benjamin’s borders which had not been addressed. The rest of the tribes of Israel thought Benjamin should have addressed this crime, but Benjamin was not going to do anything about it. This resulted in a civil war.

The interesting thing about this story is that the tribes who wanted to do right didn’t seem to prosper. They asked God whether they should go to war, and the LORD told them to go; however, every time they followed the word of the LORD they lost until the last battle. Even when obedience brought victory, the victory still brought loss. In this story, there are several principles about obedience that reveals your desire for right.

First, obedience doesn’t always bring blessing. These tribes lost wars, but they kept doing right. There will be times when obedience won’t cause you to prosper. Many prosperity preachers teach that obedience always brings blessings, but this isn’t always true. There are going to be times when you obey that it is going to seem like you lost.

Second, obedience doesn’t always make things better. One reason a person obeys is because they think the situation in their life will be bettered if they do right. The story from the verse above shows us that there are times when obedience makes things worse. I’m not trying to be a prophet of doom, but there are times when obeying will make your situation worse, but you must still do right.

Third, obedience sometimes brings defeat. The tribes who obeyed lost the battle twice, but that didn’t keep them from obeying. Christian, just because you lost a battle for doing right doesn’t mean that you were wrong. There will be times when doing right causes you to be on the losing side. Anyone who has done right for any length of time will testify that they have experienced defeat as a result of obedience, but that didn’t make them wrong. If God tells you to do something, it is the right thing to do even if you don’t win.

Fourth, obedience will sometimes be hurtful. When the tribes who were doing right finally won, they wept because a tribe was lost in Israel. There are times when doing right will hurt, but you must keep doing right. Just because it hurts doesn’t mean that you were wrong. There have been many times in my life when doing right hurt me, but I’m still glad I did right.

Why should we obey? Because it is right! It takes a love for truth to obey. The reason you obey is because it is what God wants you to do. You are going to have to ask yourself this question; are you willing to obey even if it hurts you and doesn’t benefit you? This is the true sign of an obedient heart. You can always be assured that if you obey, you will reap the benefits in the long run, but in the immediate it may not go well with you. It is the Christian who does right even when it doesn’t benefit them who makes the difference in the lives of others. The true test of your love for truth will be if you obey when you know you will lose.

The Identity of Words

identity-of-wordsby: Dr. Allen Domelle

Judges 12:6
“Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.”

Someone came to me recently and asked me where I was from. At first, I didn’t understand why they asked me this question, so I asked them why they wanted to know. They heard me say that I was from California, but they said my accent didn’t sound like I was from there. When I told them that I lived in Texas, they then understood why I spoke with my accent.

The verse above shows the power of not only what you say, but how you say it. Israel was fighting a civil war between Ephraim and the Gileadites. The only way they could discern who belonged to who was by how they pronounced a word. It is interesting that both tribes could pronounce the same word, but they pronounced it differently. How they pronounced one word showed their identity.

What you say is always important. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Saying the right thing at the right time can make the difference in whether someone is helped or hurt. I believe it is important to be proper with what you say all the time. God’s people ought to learn how to say the right thing all the time.

However, how you say something can be as important as what you say. Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…” You can say the same thing, but how you say it can make a difference in how others take it. Your tone of words can make the difference as to whether you influence people for right or wrong. This is why Jesus said in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” God wanted His servants to be wise with what they say and how they say it. Understanding the importance of what and how we say something brings a couple of thoughts to mind.

Woodland Baptist ChurchFirst, don’t respond in anger. When you respond in anger, you oftentimes say words with the wrong tone. Many relationships have been hurt because someone responded in a moment of anger, and the tone of how they said it hurt or damaged the spirit of another. Christians need to have the character to temper what they say during times of anger. It is always best to stay silent in a moment of displeasure than to say something out of irritation and hurt a relationship.

Second, NEVER settle problems or respond to tense situations through digital technology. The tone of what you say can never be read through a text or email. You may be very clear in your response, but the tone cannot be picked up. Many people have had to apologize for what they said through digital technology because others couldn’t read their tone. The best thing you could do is never to write something that could be taken wrongly.

My friend, what you say is important, but how you say it is just as important. Let me encourage you to be as careful with how you say things as you are with what you say. You will never regret guarding your tone and choice of words.