Do you believe that words matter? SMH. YOLO. ROFL. Even if you got what I was saying there, I hope you get the point. Words matter today…perhaps more than anytime in our history. We live in a world that communicates in a large way by abbreviations and symbols. We live in a time when it is okay to broadcast to the world our opinions and disdain for folks who think differently than us.
Negative words themselves, of course, are not new. The book of James has this to say about them:
7 People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish. 8 No one can tame the tongue, though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness. 10 Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way! James 3:7-10
No…our negative words are not new but this is the first time in human history that we can broadcast our words in an instant to thousands of people and those words remain in the digital abyss forever. Since the 2016 election it seems that we have gone off the rails with our rhetoric following the lead of our elected officials. I have seen people on both sides of the aisle that I love and respect say outrageous things about the other side.
Words matter and we Christians have the opportunity to lead and show the love of Christ to the world. Social media can be a great tool to shine the light of Christ. Noah Adams, a teaching and Vision Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Illinois recently lifted up some questions that Christians should ask themselves before making a political post:
- Will this bring unity or disunity in the body of Christ?
- Do I view politics and government as savior and king or Jesus?
- Will this help or harm my Christian witness in the world?
- Are my political beliefs really as Biblical as I think they are?
- Have I really listened to the other side?
- Do I care more about politics than Jesus and his mission?
- Would Jesus be pleased with my engagement in the political discussion?
It is crucial that we begin to use our words for building up the kingdom of God not tearing down others. Some may accuse me of being politically correct and maybe they’re right, but that is not my intention. What I care about is that we create a world that is patient and kind, not arrogant or rude. That sounds oddly familiar doesn’t it?
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. 7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The Bible tells us that God is love! The next time you’re tempted to comment on an issue or something you’ve seen or read, ask yourself if your words are born out of Christian love. If not, MB BQ.