Recently, I was chatting with a friend about the way in which we, as Christians, speak to one another. We were discussing how our words can wound our brothers and sisters. It’s possible that what we say could hurt our witness as well.
As we were talking, my mind instantly began to think of all the foul-mouthed Christians I know. I began thinking about how many times professed believers have said absolutely horrible and detestable things. How often do I hear, from the mouths of those who claim to follow Christ, words that do not glorify their Lord? Of course, it never once occurred to me that my words sometimes hurt. I never thought that maybe the things that I say could be damaging relationships or hurting my witness.
The ironic part of all of this is that I’ve had several people, point-blankly, speak to me about my language. Yet, despite being directly confronted, it was still quite easy to believe that my words couldn’t possibly be a problem. Oh, how easily we deceive ourselves!
Since I was a teenager, I’ve been a horrible gossip. I’m not sure why but it’s such a temptation for me. It took me years to overcome the reputation of “blabber-mouth”. My words hurt so many of my relationships because I betrayed so many trusts. After years, I finally reached a place where people, once again, felt comfortable confiding in me. These past few weeks I’ve just found it so difficult to not gossip. It’s terrifying how old habits can creep up on you.
I also have a terrible habit of being overly snarky. I take things too far sometime, to a point where what I’m saying is either hurtful or inappropriate (or both). I always mean what I say in jest, but it’s not always interpreted that way. I’m thankful that my brothers and sisters have shown me grace when my words hurt them. Nevertheless, I should be more careful.
I’ve been learning that with folks from different cultures and different generations, respect is very important. Feeling disrespected is like a huge slap in the face. Some of my snark and sarcasm is perceived as disrespect. If I’m hurting people and making them upset, perhaps I should just be a bit more kind and a little less crass.
Part of my goal for 2018 is to simply be more mindful of what I say. If we aim to glorify God with our entire life, that should include the words we say. Of course, Scripture tells us that from that mouth speaks what the heart is full of. This also means I need to really be focusing on my walk with God.
If this is an issue for you as well, I encourage you to join in me in this. Leave me a comment and tell me if you struggle with your speech and I’ll keep you in my prayers!
Thanks for listening!