James 1:26 NIV - Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
Titus 1:10-11 NIV - For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
Anyone who has attended little league baseball has heard the opposing teams chatter at each other - from “Hey batter, batter, batter” to perhaps some personal remarks. In the upper divisions of baseball the chatter often comes from the opposing dugouts and fans in the crowd. All chatter is intended to distract the hitter - the one person in best position to make a real difference when his team is on offense. Hecklers may also chatter at the pitchers warming up, again trying to distract the main person able to make a difference when the team is on defense. In some venues, the chatter is very ugly, very personal, very hurtful, even evil. What players like Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby experienced in terms mental torment while performing their jobs at the highest level in the world is something most of us could never imagine. There’s little league chatter, then there’s major league heckling. Hecklers chatter to annoy, to distract, to infuriate, to demoralize, and to discourage (literally, rob you of your courage). And as many have proven - it’s not all in fun, it can be very personal and ruthless. So to is the reality that there will always be chatter and heckling that Christians must endure while keeping our composure, staying on mission, helping our team win. According to Scripture, we are in a war not a game. Our enemies will distract with little league chatter or destroy with major league hackling if we are not disciplined enough to “tune out the chatter” and focus on the fact that God has empowered us to make a real difference. Spiritual chatter and heckling is a deceitful tactic intended to keep us from doing real good. Don’t get caught up in listening to the distracting and discouraging voices - even if it seems like it’s coming from a fan wearing your team uniform! (fellow Christians) If men like Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby could break the major leagues color barrier and still play ball at Hall of Fame levels, you should not be surprised when God will expect you to endure the extreme pressure of tormenting chatter and help His team win.
What’s the main chatter that is distracting or discouraging you in your walk with God or your service to His Church? What’s the ruthlessly brutal heckling that torments you? By the grace and power of God, what do you need to do (e.g., prayer, Scripture, etc.) to help muffle or silence that chatter and fulfill the mission God gave His team (the Church)? Are you more consumed with the hecklers or with your purpose? Remember, those who aren’t a threat to make a real difference won’t get tormented by the hecklers. If you’re being heckled, it usually means you’re in a position to do something special for your team.
Hebrews 12:1-4 ESV - Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.