The First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” ~ First Amendment, December 15, 1791.

A man screamed in my face today, “You dumb American!” and proceeded to follow me to my car for not stopping to review his petition. I didn’t respond to this man’s outburst as I was having a bad day and wouldn’t have been nice. It appears that he too was having a bad day as he obviously wasn’t very nice.

James 3 tells us that the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. It continues to tell us to seek wisdom and be peacemakers. Yes, it was good for me to be silent today. While I have freedom of speech, as I am able to leave a ‘copyright’ of my words for all to see, it doesn’t entitle me to use that freedom as poison.

Freedom of speech, you have to love our Constitution, or is it the Bill of Rights? Yes, I am that ignorant. I’ve known that the freedom of speech was our first amendment – clarification – it is in our first amendment. I always assumed that the first amendment was only and specifically about the freedom of speech, read closely, it is not. Perhaps I’m a dumb American after all.

Father, though I fail often in the proper use of my tongue, may you give me wisdom in knowing when it should be bridled. May I always be seeking your words and if you give me none may I learn to be silent. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Copyright by reflectionsbypj 20100408

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4 thoughts on “The First Amendment

  1. You know.. I ran into a man a few weeks ago that did the same thing to me.. He asked if I was tired of Obama, “or should I say he yelled” it.. i did not respond and he proceeded to yell out all sorts of things… I just continued to walk away, because I saw no point in feeding this mans anger.. I like what you said.. about the tongue.. I really have a hard time sometimes keeping my mouth shut…

  2. I too have spoken words I wish I could take back. Unfortunately, we can’t.

    I thought you might appreciate what I have to share. I heard this on the radio quite a few years ago and wrote it down. I now keep it in my Bible. It helps me to understand others as well as myself — if I stop to think, of course.

    The kind of words we use reflect the kind of heart we have:
    HARSHNESS – Angry Heart
    NEGATIVE – Fearful Heart
    CRITICAL – Bitter Heart
    OVER ACTIVE – Unsettled Heart, Restless
    FILTHY MOUTH – Impure Heart
    BOASTING HEART – Insecure Heart, Prideful, Arrogant

    Yes! There is a positive…=)

    SINGING TONGUE – Happy Heart, Joy In Your Soul
    GENTLE WORD – Tender Heart
    TRUTHFUL SPEECH – Honest Heart
    KIND WORDS – Loving Heart

    Application:
    1) Need a new heart/ASK HIM
    2) Start listening to what comes out of your mouth.
    3) Think before you speak.
    4) Ask God for help daily.

    I commend you for holding your tongue.

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