( As a casual reminder, I want to emphasize that all my posts are written specifically to Christians. If you don’t consider yourself a Christ-follower, by all means, please read! I just want you to recognize the context of my posts.)
In the couple months, midst all the political speech, I have not had much to say about political matters (except in private conversations amongst my friends). I have felt that mostly everything that needed to be said had been, and there wasn’t much I should add to the conversation.
However, it’s come to my attention that there is something that needs to be said, and it’s about ‘saying’ itself.
As citizens of the United States of America, we have the right to words. Any and all words that we choose, at any moment, in any format– we have that those. (And boy, have we exercised that freedom.)
But as Christians, we also have one responsibility:
Let that sink in for a moment, brothers and sisters.
You have one responsibility, one calling, one holy work, one task above all else:
to love God and love others.
Now, love is not simple. You will never hear me claim that it’s not a complex action, but remember that we have a perfect example of love and a whole book to help us figure out what it is.
And in that book, I have yet to come across a time when it said that this is love:
to curse the governmental authorities
to call a fellow human stupid
to demean and discount the sufferings and concerns of another’s experiences
to associate a political party with Christ
or to claim that anyone not agreeing with your political agenda is subhuman.
On the contrary, the Word tells us that love is, though truthful, simultaneously patient, kind, gentle, hopeful, humble, forgiving.
So before you post your next status, share that article, or state your opinion to a peer, ask yourself:
Is this truthful?
Is this kind?
Is this gentle?
Is this hopeful?
Does this extend grace?
Is this something Jesus would say?
And act accordingly to your answer.
Lastly, may I remind you that there is wisdom in listening to your enemies.
There is wisdom in praying before speaking.
And, perhaps the most downplayed of all,
there is also much wisdom in choosing to say no words at all.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life. – Proverbs 15:4
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. – Proverbs 17:27-28
[There is] a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. – Eccelesiastes 3:7
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. – Titus 3:1-2
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of Jesus. – Colossians 3:17