The human race either speaks without thinking or without listening. The result is often the same; we end up speaking for our own interests and end up hurting others. I am guilty of this crime.
Especially when I’m not listening. I have been the guy that is thinking of the argument he is going to make when the other person finishes talking.
I used to think that made me like The Doctor (from Doctor Who) they (there are a lot of them, its hard to explain) do this a lot. Even though The Doctor cares for people very much, and goes about saving them, they are often mean, and inconsiderate of other people’s feelings. Even if The Doctor is trying to do good, those closest to them don’t realize that and end up hurt and often stop traveling with them as a result.
The Bible has strong words to say about the words we say. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV
Our words are powerful. Even more so today, where everyone has the opportunity to shout their opinions to the world through social media. Not everyone listens, or at least you might think that. However, our words are there for all to see and they carry power.
To be sure, actions speak louder than words, but when our words and actions match up, everything we do carries more weight. Something that I have noticed about Christians is that their words of love don’t often match their actions.
As followers of Jesus we should be speaking positive words into people’s lives. Yet Christians are some of the meanest people in real life and online. Friends of mine that work in the service industry, have said people getting out of church on Sunday are rude and are they worse tippers. (Side note, please tip nicely this reflects on you, and on Jesus!)
People have hard lives, and we shouldn’t be the ones making that life harder. Why should we make it worse by criticizing them, by calling out their sin, putting them down, calling them names, or worse! My biggest issue here is we do this in the name of Jesus.
Jesus lived and spoke in love, and He asks us to do the same. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” If we want to be like Jesus we have to speak truth, but with love. He spoke love to the woman who was caught in adultery, and sent her on her way. He spoke love to the tax collectors and sinners. He ate with them, partied with them, and through that he changed their lives.We cannot change anyone by yelling at them, and telling them how sinful they are.
The people that Jesus did call out, were those that should have known better! The ones who knew the Words of God, and knew what they should have been doing.
So you should ask yourself, am I speaking and living life? What would Jesus do? What would Jesus be saying? Ask that about what you say, about what you post online. Are people seeing the love of Jesus in me, or are they running from God because of what I have said to them?