Biting one’s tongue, chewing on the inside of one’s cheek, counting to ten—all of these are a form of censorship. What is your technique? Mine? I have conversations with myself in my head about all the things I want to say. I have been asked why I look angry all the time. I am not angry, just censoring myself.
I write things that have affected my life, try to point to God through my experiences. But there are so many times I delete what I start to write because of how it might affect the person who brought on that blog. Today is one of those times. I started to write about judging, but realized I was throwing arrows in a multitude of directions. Then the nudge came to write about censorship.
My Daddy used to say, “I can fix anything, but I can’t fix stupid.” Well, there’s a t-shirt around with that saying. My Dad was right, no amount of duct tape can fix stupid. But it can silence it temporarily. Let’s face it, we all have moments of stupidity. We say the wrong things, we do the wrong things. We also realize when we do it, so we do not appreciate you telling us about it. You may think it is funny, and it might be one day, but at the moment it is not. Censorship here is a good thing.
But what if we try to censor God? Biblically speaking—literally. If we read the Bible and follow what God’s says to do and not to do, we are fine. But what if it is something we do not agree with. Pick one…hell, marriage, premarital sex. If we choose to believe only what we agree with, the easy stuff, then we are censoring God. 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” There are religions that only take the positive in God’s Word, only preach what makes you feel good, and only teach about the good deeds; these are false teachers, preachers and religions. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
But what about when we censor God with our actions? Ouch! Yes, in ignoring what we are called to do, we are in a way censoring God. Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Loving our neighbors is difficult, there are people out there that are just difficult to love (footnote here, I love the neighbors I know, so don’t read into this that I am talking about my next-door neighbors). I am guilty of not reaching out to others, God may prompt me to call someone, but I ignore it. Censorship. What actions would you consider censorship? Not Tithing? Not Serving? Not getting involved in community group? What about serving two Gods? How outrageous, right? I am about to step on toes, including mine. Attending church when it suits us. I sacrificed church for the lake. There are times, my soul needs a break from life and the lake is my restoration place. I worship God through music, scripture and nature when I do not come back to attend church with my church family. But what about ballgames (football, t-ball, volleyball, baseball)? Vacation? I never thought about it when my child was small. But now I do. When we put other things ahead of God, we are teaching our children to do the same. Then we are surprised when they do the same. You may think that isn’t censorship but allow me to define censorship. “The suppression or prohibition of any part of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.” Suppression, intentional or not, is where we get into trouble when it applies to God.
I am guilty. James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person results.” I am confessing this sin to you. Where is your censorship?