Does Anyone “Sleep on It” Anymore?

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

11Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. (Proverbs 29:11, New International Version) A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man holds it back. (English Standard Version)

Much can be said on this particular verse. A recent conversation with my elderly Christian neighbor as she and I discussed world events, words said and decisions made helped to spur this writing. Her wisdom shared during our conversation came from a seasoned position of forging peace rather than strife throughout her years of raising children, grandchildren and dealing with co-workers.

In reading Proverbs 29:11, the words described will likely bring someone or several people to mind. Today’s social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have provided space for those who are quick-tempered, lack restraint, short on self-control and Godly wisdom to reveal all of their mind all of the time. Trust me, nobody wants to partake in all of that undressing to see all the caverns of someone’s unrestrained mind. The Pulpit Commentary on Proverbs 29:11 reads, “A fool uttereth all his mind; his spirit, his anger. A fool pours out all his wrath, restrained by no consideration.” It then references a wise maxim that says, “Command your temper, lest it command you.”

We have all seen the damage and feeding frenzy of what 140 unrestrained characters or less can do in a 24/7 media cycle. We’ve seen how one social media post, without measure and restraint exercised by audiences, can create a thread that is vicious and worse than a street beat down—even among those considered friends and family. Before tweets, posts, emails, text messages and decisions are driven by emotions, does anyone “sleep on it” anymore?

I present this subject to encourage the Body of Christ to reflect wisdom, Christ’s love and the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit as depicted in Galatians 5:22-23 at all times. Our various platforms are favorable to rapid fire and thoughtless responses in which our 24/7 media cycle delights and thirsts to expose and exacerbate such foolishness.

However, WE have an opportunity to display Godly wisdom to an unrestrained world. In a season where division is increasingly being stirred on every side and within every group and demographic, we have an opportunity to bring calm and reason that puts those agitated at rest. In fact, before they speak further or engage in abrupt, unwise actions, we have the opportunity to offer them the wise counsel of “Why don’t you sleep on it.” It’s an opportunity to pivot; to be circumspect, to use good judgment.

Sleep on it

 

Speaking from experience, I have found great peace in “sleeping on it” before responding to someone or something that has frustrated me. I have found that the words I thought so important to say were often unnecessary and would not bring the situation to a better place.

Sometimes no words were necessary or if a response was required, the tone was one of love. The night’s sleep coupled with prayer and giving myself time to yield to the Holy Spirit made all the difference. Even in some conversations where I had every right to refute what the person was saying, I’ve literally sensed the Holy Spirit purse my lips together to say “Be quiet.” Or, even when I had sound counsel to give someone the Holy Spirit knows when that person is or is not ready to receive that instruction. He has said to me in that still, small, steady voice, “Not now.” In wisdom and obedience, I hold my tongue or I refrain from hitting “SEND” on that email or text message.

So, what is the remedy to preserve ourselves and others in moments when emotions run high and division is at the door?

Pray for self-control. Pray to exercise the nine fruits of the Spirit of faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, joy, kindness, love, patience, peace and self-control toward everyone in whatever space you engage with them. Obediently yield to the Holy Spirit’s promptings to “be quiet” or “sleep on it.”

Numerous scriptures throughout the Bible show us the blessings and precious fruits of wisdom: Blessed are those who find wisdom, who gain understanding (Proverbs 3:13). We’re encouraged to ask for it, to seek it: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (James 1:5). 

Many consider quick words to be a great strength. But quick words have been known to sink relationships and torch careers. But a word not spoken in haste is truly great wisdom with the possibility to preserve people and outcomes.

Love and blessings,

Nicole

 

 

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“Ye Shall Know Them By Their Fruits”

Nicole Headshot in blue shirt

Nicole D. Hayes, Founder, Voices Against the Grain

Was the Pope right about Donald Trump? Thursday became a war of words when Pope Francis, on return from a trip to Mexico, commented about immigration reform. He addressed presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal of building a wall to keep out those who’d enter the U.S. illegally. Per this CNN article, Pope Francis said:

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel,” the Pope told journalists who asked his opinion on Trump’s proposals to halt illegal immigration.

Trump immediately fired back, calling Francis’ comments “disgraceful.”

“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” he said in statement. Trump added that the government in Mexico, where Francis spent the past five days, has “made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope.”

Donald Trump and Pope Francis

Ding, ding! U.S. Presidential candidate and billionaire businessman Donald Trump punches back to Pope Francis’ remarks made on Thursday that question Trump’s tout of being a Christian given his push to build walls rather than bridges to keep out those who’d enter the U.S. illegally. February 18, 2016. (Photo courtesy: 2 Scoop News)

I have few words to offer on the subject. While Pope Francis may or may not have been correct in his statement, there’s a greater point that can’t be overlooked. In fact, it should serve as the guide and rule for all who proclaim to be Christians, God’s People:

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)

This isn’t rocket science, nor meant to be complicated, nor does it require mathematical formulas to figure out. This goes beyond Trump’s comment that “no leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.” It goes beyond Trump confusing 2 Corinthians for “Two Corinthians.”

Simply ask: Does this person exhibit the character of Jesus in their words and deeds? Do their words promote holiness, peace and truth? Do their words build others up or tear them down? Do they wear Christianity as an ornament yet don’t daily walk it, talk it or live it?  Are their words and deeds motivated by the fruits of the Spirit:

Fruit-of-the-Spirit

Is there any question after this?

-Nicole

Nicole D. Hayes is the founder of Voices Against the Grain, a bold teaching ministry launched in May 2013. Nicole’s purpose in creating Voices Against the Grain is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amid confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

Learn more about Nicole D. Hayes here.

Let It Flow

Ecclesiastes 11:1- Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Listen up, for a new phase is coming your way, and it is simply to just “let it flow.” Hence, “let it flow” is a phrase that moves with seamless precision. “Let it flow” is a phrase that when hypothetically touched mimics the soft, velvety characteristics of silk that glides across our skin. “Let it flow” is a phrase that describes the joy and peace we can partake in if we follow the Lord’s instructions. Therefore, may we couple this phrase with Galatians 5:22, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” Hence, our spirits begin to digest these fruits, which provide us with the vitamins to enjoy a well-built soul. However, this never occurs overnight, but is a long and enduring process that requires PATIENCE. For if we allow the Lord to work within our lives, IN TIME, we shall receive our blessings. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.