Ever just sit on a bench at the mall or in a park and listen to people? Times have changed and what used to be inappropriate language at home is common place. Television shows are not even filtered anymore. Is this really what we want for future generations?
Recently I participated in a small Bible study group that read a book called Zip It. I must say the title alone intrigued me. We had a small group and each week we read five selections. The conversations were fun and we learned so much from each other.
It is not just vulgar words that are wrong. Words that injure others or belittle them are just as bad.
It didn’t take much soul searching to find times when I let my emotions take the best of me and used words that I have regretted. Think about it. Do your emotions take over your mouth like mine did?
Words can affect other people. As a teacher I always tried to give my students words of encouragement. So many came to school with baggage that I didn’t know about. It influenced their behavior in school and as a teacher I had to choose my words carefully.
As a Christian, I am learning that my thoughts also influence what I say. The way I think is influenced by what I put into my mind. What I watch on television or read can affect my thinking.
I am trying so hard not to judge. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you can’t know why they do what they do. But it doesn’t me anything goes with language.
We live in an age where everyone is accusing every one of something. A teacher I worked with was recently falsely accused. He never said a harsh word back. He has been cleared totally, but false accusations flew around on social media. Written words on the Internet don’t go away. Yet he still believes that God has a plan for him and he is just letting it go. He is a fine example of what Christian behavior looks like.
I know that there are many famous people deserving punishment for things they have done in the past. I get it and I have some things I could bring to light, too. I just worry that many will join the movement with false accusations.
Words have power. Power to change a life or destroy it. Parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, Girl Scout leaders – the list goes on and on – have power in their words.
I have mentioned Ruby Bridges before, but her story fits here. She walked through a hostile crowd everyday going into her school. They shouted terrible things at her and threw things at this little 6-year-old because they did believe in segregation. Everyday she stopped to pray before she went through the crowd, but it wasn’t revealed until later that she prayed for her accusers. She didn’t cry or whimper, she just walked with the US Marshals into the school where even the staff treated her unkindly. What an example for us all.
Words have power. Power to change a life or destroy it.
Jesus had a lot of accusers, too. In the end they did the same thing to him. Many of his mighty works were used to accuse him. It didn’t stop him from doing good. On the night he was betrayed he stood accused again and he still didn’t say anything. How difficult this must have been knowing people were trying to kill him. Yet he paid the price for them anyway.
This study was a great one. It opened my eyes to my own behavior. She has a second book called Keep it Shut! I just might want to see what more she has to say.
How about you? Keep a journal of your words for a while. Do they need to change? How about your friends? Are their words uplifting? What kind of words do they use?
Just think about it. Take the forty day challenge. In the end, it will only matter what God knows to be true.
Til next time!