The Danger Of "Unsaying"


Few written words survive 350 years. Most are deleted or end in File 13. Not so with the words of Richard Baxter.

The remarks of the Puritan pastor have staying power. He wrote them for fellow pastors in 1655, but they speak to the hearts of all who lead:

Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine . . . lest you unsay with your lives, what you say with your tongues; and be the greatest hinderers of the success of your own labours. Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, 1655.

Baxter echoes a constant theme of Scripture:

  • "Keep your heart with all vigilance,for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23 ESV
  • "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood." Acts 20:28 ESV
  • "Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching." 1 Timothy 4:16 ESV

Baxter causes me to stop and ask myself: "Is my life a book worth reading?" Specifically, what chapters are "page turners" and what chapters do I need the Spirit of God to "rewrite"?

Think about it. How would you answer those questions?