Our words mean more than we’re giving them credit for. There is actual power in our words and that power can be good or evil. Words are spiritual – when they are spoken you cannot see them but you can feel their effects. Christians have become so flippant with their words. We speak words and type them out with no regard to consequences. We speak and type without any regard to feelings. We say and write things to point out other people’s faults and missteps but fail to realize that by mentioning them at all we’re saying more about ourselves than we are about them. We’re revealing the kind of person we are by what we say about others.
The Bible says that words have power. If you don’t believe in the power of words think about the ones that cause you to have a strong reaction: a word that stirs up happy memories or sad ones; helpful words that encouraged you and strengthened you; words that make you righteously or unrighteously angry. We know what words mean for us and most of us would say they have the ability to make us feel something when we hear them or read them. So why do we forget their importance when we use them on other people?
We’ve stopped being careful about our words, blaming things like political correctness to excuse bad behavior. We use First Amendment rights as a way to shrug off responsibility. And heaven forbid we get corrected because we’ll throw a raging fit at you for trampling on our rights. What we say indicates our level of spiritual maturity. There are actual Scriptures in the Bible where it says it’s better to say nothing at all than to say something that isn’t beneficial to someone’s healing and growth. We even recognize that in the secular world: if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Again, we’re back to simplicity: but we surely know better and even if we over-complicate it and find excuses we’ll say it and do it anyway regardless of the consequences. And if someone tries to hold us accountable we won’t accept that accountability, and we’ll blame anyone and everyone else but ourselves and instead of the very words that came out of our mouths.
We’re literally not supposed to say anything unless it benefits somebody else. But we’re too guarded of our own opinions that what we say back to somebody doesn’t mirror what that person is feeling or needs to hear but is only projecting our own source of inspiration, our own beliefs, our own viewpoints. We speak before our brain and our heart catches up to our mouth. Words have become so frequent and abundant that we don’t even need to take a pause before our fingers fly over the keyboard or our mouths open up. We’ve memorized more political ideologies than Biblical Scriptures. We can quote denominational creed better than we can list the books of the Bible. Our opinions have become more important than the instructions found in the Bible and we even hold them to a higher standard than we do Scripture.
We forget that words are tools. What we build depends on how we use those tools. And sometimes we don’t even use the tools we have to build anything up; we use our tools to tear things down. I think it’s safe to say we’re more destructive with our words than we are constructive. The biggest reason why is because we’ve gotten lazy with how we use them. Most of the time you need to read the instructions on how to build something before you start building it. Well, when we’re too lazy to read the instruction book our project doesn’t turn out right because we didn’t take the time to learn how to build it properly. I’ve said before how Christians ignore their original source – the Bible – and I really do believe it’s because we think we know better than what’s actually in it. We let other people do our work for us and so we think we know what we’re talking about. Pastors and politicians and religious denominations have taken the place of our own work and research and study and so we only spout off their ideologies not realizing how much they can go against what we’re actually supposed to be believing in. It’s shameful that we let politicians speak for Christ; it’s shameful when we ignore teaching found in Scripture and just insist what we’ve heard is in there is true when we haven’t taken the time to find out if it’s there for ourselves. You can tell all of these things are true just by listening to how Christians respond to certain problems in the world.
Language is there for us to communicate with each other, not to tell each other what to do. With language exists the ability to relate to other people, but we don’t use language for that purpose anymore. We now have more than ever the ability to put our words out there for the entire world to see and we don’t take advantage of that opportunity to do something good with them. That’s because we use them selfishly and think only about what we’re going to gain – Likes, Comments, Retweets – instead of what might be beneficial for others to see.
The most important thing Christians can use their words for is to show the hope found in Christ. They’ve forgotten that they’re supposed to be preaching the Gospel message in all that they do. They think if they quote a Scripture or tell you what their elected official or pastor says about this particular hot button issue – abortion, gay marriage, immigration, guns – they’re showing you they are Christians. But those words have no meaning behind them and are doing more harm than good to your witness. You may have heard the phrase, Actions speak louder than words. In Christianity those two things are directly related: your words and your actions go hand-in-hand and will either give validity to your claims or will contradict them.
Be careful about what you say. Actually take the time to notice how people respond to your words. I’ve heard people say that they must be doing something right if their words caused that much offense. Can you use the Bible to say that’s true? Likely not. Either way, if you’re not a Christian you don’t even need the Bible to tell you that some of things you’re hearing and reading from supposed Christians contradicts everything they’re trying to teach you. And if you’re a Christian you’ve got to start realizing that your words are either giving credibility to your witness or is doing some of the most destructive harm you can do to God’s kingdom. Even these spiritual sounding words that won’t make sense to non-believers are being used in a respectful manner so I’m expecting some forgiveness and understanding in how I use them. But when you intentionally set out to use your words to criticize and condemn others then your words likely won’t get a positive response. But good for you for holding onto your First Amendment rights. Good for you for holding onto your opinions. Because they mean so much in the eternal grand scheme of things. Surely God will forgive you if you place the importance of being right over His commandments.