what we say...

Blogging is a fun adventure. Sometimes. 

Sometimes I sit down to the keys, start to flow, look around for some ragtag words and phrases and scrub them to sparkling and hit publish. The deed is done. The veins have bled, the words are there. 

I have spoken something, hopefully encouraging and hopefully in line with the beautiful Word-acts of the Jesus that I hope to follow. 

Sometimes the posts are worthless, too, at least in terms of connecting with you the reader. But that happens. I get it. I'm not offended. 

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I write something from the flames of my heart and the seething of my pulse. I write because I'm angry in soul, indignant and frustrated and frothing with opinion. 

Then I hit delete. It is a post out of time, out of line. Stay in the oven. It's just too much. 

Then again, sometimes it needs to be said. Today it needs to be said. 

Followers of Jesus need to watch what we're saying these days. 

First, because there are so many different ways to "say"or "speak" - 

...we speak with our votes.
...we speak with our faces.
...we speak with our money.
...we speak with our social media posts, tweets, and shares.
...we speak with our bumper stickers.

There are a thousand new ways to bless instead of curse (Luke 6:28) but the reflexive is also true. We also have new ways to demean, belittle, marginalize, punish, and insult. 

Second, we have a speech narrative that we live in. Whether we want to believe it or not, the speech of followers of Jesus accumulates through history - graceful, graceless, hateful and loving it all finds it's way into the official record. 

Followers of Jesus need to watch what we're saying these days. 

We need wisdom more now than ever, because as the "wellspring of the heart" (Proverbs 4) wisdom is that thing that keeps us from opening our mouths too soon, too far, too long.

From dripping toxic chemicals into the wellspring of our heart, so that we can't drink it without the vicious imagery of spewing out of our mouths whatever we find there. 

We have to think through the inherent contradictions in our speech - that the verses we use to fuel our opinion on human sexuality (cp. 1 Cor. 10:6-9) include "slander" as well. 

Do we speak in support of slander? Stop reading this post. Look at your own conversations over the last 24 hours and ask yourself,

"Have I engaged in slander lately? Are the people I'm promoting, supporting, quoting and following engaging in slander? What do I do with that, Jesus?"

We have to pause, just for a moment, before we post that rant on Facebook. Please Jesus can we do that? Can we wait for a moment before we equate our political enemies with the darkest devils? 

Can we wait for a moment before making grand sweeping statements about immigration, terrorism, and "those people" to think about who "those people" really are? To think about what they are facing? I long for that kind of wisdom, of waiting, of thinking again.

Wisdom is the poetry of saying, "On second thought..."

Too often we don't have time for the second thought because we feel the immense pressure to offer an opinion.

I'm sorry, we as followers of Jesus aren't called to simply give an opinion. We are called to love wisely and well. Sometimes that kind of love renders our opinion worthless vapor. 

It is worth the pause, the extra moment, the closing of our eyes and envisioning the human target on the other end of our speech - seeing their lives from breakfast to bedtime - and wondering "What am I really saying?"

Yes. What are we really saying?

Followers of Jesus need to watch what we're saying these days. It isn't about tolerance. It isn't about cultural compromise. 

It's about wisdom. It's about love. It's about the things that make the Kingdom worth joining in the first place. 

What are we saying these days?  

Casey Tygrett2 Comments