How We Speak
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6 NIV).
Only hard-core political junkies would not be weary of the just-completed election campaigns. We were engulfed with advertising that overwhelmingly just pummeled the other candidate about every possible flaw. I almost look forward to the return of toothpaste commercials! It is reported that six billion dollars was spent on campaigns – childish productions that ought to embarrass every American, no matter their political affiliation. That is the best our great nation could do? My concern for the Church is that we can pick up and parrot the harsh tone of those campaigns as we advocate for what we believe. From personal conversations to Facebook, it is time to prayerfully reflect on whether the tone and words we choose to employ when talking about the President or issues please Jesus. Have we picked up some bad attitudes and habits after all of the negative campaigning? Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church (Ephesians 4:15 NLT). Our speech is not to sound strident and vitriolic like popular commentators who are paid to specialize in antagonizing and dividing. Even if we agree with their political positions, they are not our models – Jesus is! But the words you speak come from the heart – that’s what defiles you (Matthew 15:18 NLT). As J. Lee Grady so delightfully puts it, “It would be better for us to keep our mouths shut if we can’t say what Jesus is saying with His tone of voice.”
To Whom We Look
Although founded on godly principles by people who acknowledged His sovereignty and direction, our nation is increasingly becoming secularized. Indeed, secularism has virtually become our official religion. “In God We Trust” still remains on our currency but we no longer follow our own declaration. We need to remind ourselves that government and politicians are not going to redeem our nation. Thank God for leaders who call upon His name. But our political system is not oriented toward seeking God’s face or desires. Rather, the political system is focused on voting blocks and allies. Is it possible we have placed too much stock and hope in what politicians will deliver? Remember how the people of Israel clamored for a king? God told them that was not their answer, because He knew they were looking to wrongly fix their hope in a man. But God allowed them to have what they wanted (in essence, voted for). It probably wasn’t a trendy question to be asked at the time when King Saul assumed power but how appropriate it would have been, “How is that working out for you?”