Words (Will Hignett)

Living our faith is not always easy. As humans we have our flaws. These flaws distract or lead us away from a faithful life. So how do we consistently and faithfully live a Christ-focused life, especially regarding the words we choose to use?

I find that at times I let emotion get the better of me. Driving is a common trigger for me that fires up a negative emotion. The words I conjure up in my head put me in a negative mood and are definitely not me “being Christian.” Definitely not.

Jesus reminds us that we show who and whose we are with our words and actions. This is really the catch with words and actions – they indicate “whose we are.”

To show that “we belong to Jesus” we need to develop words and actions that reveal higher standards for our ways of living. So when we, for example, use a word like “touron” – which is a slang word in the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary that means “a tourist who exhibits moronic behavior” (like in the sentence -- A touron was taking a close-up selfie of a charging wild boar while on safari), we are showing who we are in a negative fashion. Okay, this word is a minor example. A better example might be family situations when we are angry or displeased. These situations pose major challenges to using words that reveal our following Christ.

What can we do to counter our human tendencies in how we communicate with words? Here are some suggestions. One way would be to not condemn. Jesus was not into condemnation nor should we be ("Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." - John 8:11 ESV). What about situations where we strongly disagree with someone’s politics or theology? Here what Jesus called his followers to do is countercultural in today’s politically fractured time. Jesus asks followers to love the people they disagree with most and to speak blessings over them, even when we really only want to put them down. Whatever the situation, Christians are called to bless the people who hurt them the most. That’s tough, right?

In the end, when we feel our emotions getting the better of us, it may be best to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts and guide us in our thoughts and actions. Realizing that words will often trip us up, we need to be more vigilant in and careful of what we say. Peace be on you.

blog comments powered by Disqus