Not Saying What Others Want to Hear
Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 24-27
Today’s Key Passage – Numbers 24:10-25
Balaam was a sorcerer who was often called upon to place a curse on others. Balak summoned him to place a curse on the Israelites, and offered to reward him handsomely in return. Balaam was a greedy man who used his religion as a source of profit, so ordinarily he would have likely done what Balak asked, but God spoke to him directly. God told Balaam to only say what He told him to say. God even spoke to Balaam through his donkey (See Numbers 22:21-35). After being asked several times by Balak to curse the Israelites, Balaam refused to go against God. He chose to only speak what the Lord told him to speak. While he could have simply said, what Balak wanted to hear and would have received riches for it, he chose instead to do what was right and speak the truth. (Later in the Bible, we will learn that Balaam would eventually go back to his evil ways and allow his greed to turn him away from God, but in this case, he stood firm.)
Today, we are often put in situations where we can say what others want to hear or we can say what is true. What do you say when your wife asks if you like the new blouse she bought even when you really do not? What do you say to your friend who asks if he should try out for the worship team even though he was not blessed with the gift of music? In situations like these, often the easiest thing to do is to simply say what the person wants to hear. You could easily say that the blouse is beautiful or that your friend has a great voice, even though you do not really feel these things are true, and your wife or your friend would walk away feeling great about what you said. It sounds like a good plan, right? The problem is, when relationships are built on lies they will eventually fall apart. What happens when your wife decides to buy more blouses exactly like the one you did not really like? Will you ever say anything? Solid relationships with other people are built on trust, and the only way to build that trust is by telling the truth. Even when it might not profit us, we are still called to tell the truth. Of course, there are ways to speak the truth in love and ways to speak the truth in hate, and we should always choose to speak in love while also saying what is true. When we begin to practice radical honesty in a loving way, we will begin to see our relationships grow and prosper like never before. The next time you are asked a question where you are tempted to say what the person wants to hear, remember the story of Balaam and remember to speak the truth in love.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.