13 September 2016
Deeds and Words
Who is wise and understanding among you?
By his good conduct, let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, un-spiritual, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
- James 3.13-18
Do people count on your words?
If you are able to read this, then yes, the answer is yes.
So, then, do your words amount to anything important, and are they being used for good?
How about the words in the world? The words you come into contact with each day?
The instant gratification nature of our society has implemented and required in-time reactions to everything. That means, thoughtful responses are rare. Everyone has to know right now what you are thinking and feeling, and before you have the chance to select your words carefully and give a more thoughtful reply, we are encouraged to react immediately, and let the world know. The internet has aided this, and social media has mastered the display of everyone spouting off whatever comes to mind at that instant. Is this a healthy thing for our society?
Where intelligence, character, morals, and virtue were once admired, now only competence is required. Shaking things up, offering up remarks not fully comprehended, and baiting others to get a reaction is what draws the attention. This is why I spend so little time on social media sites. And when I am on there, I am very selective in what I pay attention to or read.
I am the advocate for words selected with care. In today's society, sadly, we have to dodge so much of it, you probably don't even realize how inundated your life is with such poor use of our language. Is it producing any good? Mostly it is used to grab your attention, persuade you to buy its product or watch the television show, or to make you think that everyone is doing the same so you should too.
As Christians, we are called to go against the grain of the world, and I am speaking to myself here as well. How many hours have I spent watching a Gilmore Girls or Lost marathon? They are fun, entertaining, and good stories. It's not all bad, but so many times the questionable worldliness is mixed into our own beliefs if we are not careful, because we cannot escape the worldly influences. This is why reading Scripture every day is so important. We need to keep God's Word in our minds all the time, so it sinks into our hearts deeply that when we come across something questionable, we have the discernment in which to see what it is really saying.
Lord, how do we honour you as we go through the uncharted waters? You will show us the way; please be our guide. As we look into the lives of others before us, the past apostles and saints who lived out the example of Your love, help us live this out in our present day, and see beyond the instant gratification to know Your truth above all, and share that through our words.