Proverbs 18:19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. 20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. 21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (NLT)
I read these verses today and thought it would be good to share this wisdom from God’s Word in light of the political goings on only 45 minutes from my home in Wisconsin. Beyond politics, the issues – perceived or otherwise – are affecting individuals and families emotionally, fiscally, spiritually, and so on. The pain is real, the arguments are heated, sometimes accurate, sometime irrational and the right to free speech is valued but often abused (in my opinion). Unfortunately, in all of this we too easily forget about God’s sovereignty.
I have friends who are unapologetically firm on both sides of the issue(s) and I also have my thoughts and opinions too. I’ve been accused of “posting” something online that offended others – I didn’t think that it would offend, but it did. Another topic of discussion would be the idea that people often choose to be offended, but I’ll save that for another time. The important thing that I’m hearing from God today is that we must maintain our Christian character and integrity throughout this debate and into the challenges of the future. We must be careful with the words we say and type, be mindful of our friends, and understand that our words reflect the things in our heart, good or evil.
There are several passages in the New Testament that talk about our words revealing the condition of our heart. The verse that stands out to me is Ephesians 4:29 which says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (ESV) Or put another way, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (NLT)
So let’s be mindful of our mouth and our heart to make sure we are debating and communicating in ways that reflect the heart of God, not a heart of our human condition of selfishness and pride. God is in control, always has been and alway will be. My blog won’t change his plan, another person’s protest or agreement on a political issue won’t change God’s plan either. Let’s continue to impact our communities through living the Gospel and loving our neighbors as Christ loves the church.