Monday, January 6, 2014

Words! Weigh What You Say!

Words! Written or spoken, the Bible has much to say about the power of words. 

NIV Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

We live in a time when everyone seems to have a chip on their shoulder. I imagine tiny creatures called Word Police who are constantly on the lookout for someone to say something that can be used against them. In an era when our words and actions can instantly be viewed by others via technology, this is easy to do.

Conservatives are ready to pounce on liberals and vice-versa. We’ve just gone through a holiday season where, again, there was the big debate over saying, “Merry Christmas.” Say Happy Holidays if you want, but don’t criticize my right to say Merry Christmas.

We also heard plenty about dear Phil, who got into hot water with his quote of scripture and speaking his personal belief and opinion. It seems to me that no matter what the topic of discussion today, there are those who deliberately bait a conservative or Christian with questions about same-sex marriage. Case in point is Piers Morgan interviewing Rick Warren on his son’s recent suicide. So, why did Piers, in that context, feel the need to ask Rick about same sex marriage?

If the whole sum of my life, or anyone’s life, can be measured only by a view on same-sex marriage, gun control, whether it’s appropriate to say Merry Christmas, legalize marijuana, or any number of controversial topics, it makes me shake my head in anguish. Those that scream tolerance the loudest are usually the most intolerant of those who disagree with them. God loves us all, but let’s not mistake His love for approval.

If we’re honest, we’ve all – conservative and liberal, Christian and atheist, homosexual or heterosexual – been guilty of spewing hatred by our words and actions against those who differ from us.

I admonish you to weigh your words, both spoken and written. When you must speak the truth, do it in love. Once something is out there, it can’t be taken back. 1 Peter 4:8 NIV says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Let’s determine in 2014 to let our words be motivated by love truth and love.

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