HANNAN: Are you a Buffet Christian?

Lisa Hannan

“I think that is marvelous.”

My husband told me about a friend he had in college who told him that whenever she said in a conversation, “I think that is marvelous,” what she really meant was, “I don’t give a @&#%.” Unfortunately, upon learning that, he was reminded of several prior conversations with her when she made that statement.

Do you say what you mean and mean what you say? Or are you a hypocrite?

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

That woman may have thought she was “getting away with something.” She may have derived some perverse pleasure from doing that, but I assure you, her deeds, her thoughts, what’s really in her heart will someday find her out. The truth is, the Lord sees her heart every time she says that. 

She may fool the hearers, but she can never fool God. Nor can we. 

He sees below the surface of everything we say and do, and He knows the real motives behind every thought, word and deed. He considers the heart of every person, and it is that He judges. 

“Be sure; your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

The scripture also says, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.” (Matthew 5:37)

We are told in the Bible that one day we will all have to answer for every “idle word” we speak. (Matthew 12:36)

Some Christians say, “I tell it like it is. I speak my mind. I don’t care what anyone thinks.” And they wear that as some kind of badge of pseudo-righteousness, by classifying it in their minds as “honesty.”

But in the book of Proverbs, we read, “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:27-28)

Many times, in my own life, I have thought it necessary for me to speak up, but found instead, the prompting of the Lord to keep silent. In those moments, I always have the choice whether to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit or open my mouth and speak, and without fail, every time I have heeded restraint when prompted to do so, I have been happy I did. 

However, there have been too many occasions to recall when I did not practice restraint and I always regretted it.

Part of maturing in Christ is knowing when to speak up and when to keep silent. Every Christian should desire to honor God in every area of their life, including their words – especially their words. 

As the Psalmist did, we should all pray, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

I hope that you are not a hypocrite. I hope that you say what you mean and mean what you say, that your “yes is yes and your no, no.” 

But as a Christian, I hope that you also use restraint as the Holy Spirit guides you, and that you ask Him to set a guard over the door of your lips, because if you do, you will soon discover those around you saying, “I think that is marvelous”... and they will mean it. 


Lisa Hannan lives in Valdosta with her husband, attorney Miles Hannan, who has been practicing law in Valdosta for more than 30 years. She has a B.S. in psychology from Valdosta State University.

You can find her at www.lisahannan.org.

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