Careful with Your Words

I believe the purpose of communication is to develop understanding and acceptance of the other person, even though we may strongly disagree with their position on a given subject. We don’t need to follow the example of many of our public figures who demean or smear the reputation or character of another person because they have political differences. 

Be very careful about “judging” a person because they are a “liberal” or “conservative.” Let’s try to discuss the issues and not attack the character of the one with the opposing view. Yes, character matters. Absolutely. But, people with stellar character may have a bad idea from time to time and folks with crummy character may have a good idea once in a while. The point is to maintain our good character while dealing with sensitive and emotionally-charged issues. 

If we claim to be followers of Jesus, let’s look to God as our example for how we communicate. The incarnation  represents a point in history in which Someone with perfect character attempted to communicate with people whose character was/is like”filthy rags.”

He had already done some communicating through commandments, miracles, prophets, and some of the kings but just at the right time he sent Jesus, the perfect revelation of himself. God understands us, accepts us as we are, and offers forgiveness for the sin that separates us from him and others. Perhaps some of us need to reconsider how we communicate about tough issues and try to build some bridges to those with whom we differ. This doesn’t mean we must give up what we strongly believe. It does mean we can allow others the same right to their opinions without judging them as persons.

We do not need to “turn a blind eye” to the evil that is so evident in our society. We must be wise in this day of division and heated rhetoric and be a force for good and healing rather than perpetuate the hatred and vile behaviors that will destroy us. Remember: “But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”  James 1:19-20.

 

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