Are you smart, or do you just have a smart mouth?

9 Feb

So many times we are careful with what we say to those around us, but there is one little exception that has arisen along with the rise of technology:  the language that we use when texting, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  🙂  One of my friends has cleverly termed those who are quiet in real life but attack others on Facebook from the saftey of their homes, “cyber gangsters.”  Hopefully you are not a cyber gangster! ;P  Sure, we all have strong opinions that we want to get across, but when it comes to the point of two (supposedly Christian!) adults name calling and insulting each other, which leads to someone being defriended, we have taken it too far.

Guess what?  We’re never going to all agree on anything.  You know this all too well if you’re married.  🙂  My husband and I at this point just laugh at our differences, (most of the time,) and just agree to disagree.  This happened just last night.  I don’t remember what we were talking about, but what usually happens between the two of us is that he will ask me a question that he thinks requires a one word answer, and I use two or more words.  He asked, “are you one of the leaders on the committee?” – (referring to one of the groups that I was a part of.)  I told him that I was the Communication coordinator.  He laughed and shook his head, and then I started laughing too, and asked him what was so funny.  He said that all I had to do was say “yes,” whereas I felt that by using the word “coordinator,” it was obvious that I was on the leadership team.  Instead of arguing, we just laughed at our differences.  Some people (my husband 🙂 ) like one word answers, while others of us will tell a five minute story when asked a question.  It is our differences that make the world go round.  Instead of getting annoyed and trying to change each other, just learn to accept it – (so long as the differences aren’t causing you harm or hurting you.)

I saw this all too well on a show that is my guilty reality TV pleasure, (The Kardashians.)  When Kim first was engaged to her now-ex husband, she thought that all of his “smart alek” comments were so cute and funny, and she defended him against her family, (who warned her that he was being rude.)  After marriage, her husband still made the same comments, but now she didn’t think it was so cute.  While there are too many issues in their marriage to discuss here, I will say this – while therapy could have helped, it also could have helped if they didn’t stop being respectful and loving towards each other in their speech.  I don’t care if you’ve been married 40 years.  Don’t be a smart alek to your spouse and those around you.  Be someone who loves, is gentle with people’s emotions, and encourages them.  Be loving and kind, and someone that people want to be around because of your positive nature.

And don’t let all of your kindess go to the wayside just because you are typing from a computer. Your words have power.  Why do we spend hours on Facebook attacking other people and their opinions?  I don’t mind a good, respectful, spirited debate, (although I don’t have time for too many of those these days..lol,) but attacking others is never the answers.  I see it all the time – Christians attacking other Christians over doctrinal issues that don’t even matter in the grand scheme of things.  God’s word says that we shouldn’t argue over trivial matters.  If the world sees us disagreeing, arguing over scripture, and trying to prove who is the more “knowledgeable” Christian, then why the heck will they want to join us in our walks with God?  We are adding fuel to the fire for those people who say, “I love God…I just don’t love how his people act.”  Don’t turn others away from God because you are a poor example in your speech and conduct.

I will also admit that I used to have a problem with my mouth.  For those who know me now, you know that I’m a pretty positive person for those most part.  It didn’t always use to be that way.  I was nice most of the time, but I would complain, gossip, talk about others, and act like if people didn’t do things the way I did, they were obviously “wrong.”  God had to deal with me and show me that I wasn’t any better just because I had this or that degree, or this or that job.  None of that matters to God.  I love the verse that talks about how if we treat someone better because they come in wearing gold jewelry and fine clothes, then we are being a “respecter of person,” which is wrong.  We should treat everyone well, not just our boss who has control over how much money we make.  Even if we don’t agree with someone, we don’t have to belittle and attack them until they agree with us or bow out.  Even if we have disagreements, at the end of the day, we can still be friends.

Here’s another example that came up just yesterday in a discussion.  Someone was talking about how they used to love the show “Desperate Housewives,” but after becoming closer to God, they realized that they probably shouldn’t be watching something that glorified adultery.  That’s fine if the person feels this way, but should they make others feel like “sinners” if they still watch this?  The answer is complex, so I’ll look at both sides.  (Of course it also depends on how God would have you to address the issue, b/c being spirit led is important when disagreements arise.)  If it were me, I would not make the person feel like a sinner for watching the show.  If they asked my opinion, I would tell them that I don’t need to view something that glorifies cheating on your spouse when I value the sanctity of marriage.  Plus I don’t think that if Jesus still walked the earth, that he would watch it either.  But am I going to just give my opinion if I’m not asked? …Probably not.  Remember, the best witness we can have is our life.  People don’t care what you know, until they know how much you CARE.  Be a loving example to others versus someone who makes them feel that they aren’t “godly enough.”  We have all areas that we need to grow in…I know that I do.  So in that situation, unless I felt God prompting me to say something to the person, I probably wouldn’t do it.  Just be a godly example and pray for them.  Half the time, people know deep down that they’re wrong.  They’re just not ready to change yet.  Making them feel like a “sinner” isn’t going to speed up the process.  Pray for them, live out a godly example, and offer advice when they ask or if you TRULY feel God wants you to say something.

Now there have been those times when I feel as though God wants me to talk to someone about something that is uncomfortable.  I’ll pout like a little baby and pretend like I didn’t hear Him.  But when I still get that gut feeling that I nneed to talk to the person about it, I’ll do it.  Once I felt like God was telling me to talk to someone who was depressed and suicidal.  I kept ignoring the feeling because I didn’t want to put myself in an “awkward” situation.  Turns out, the person ran away and is now homeless from what I know.  I’m not saying that I could have changed their fate, but then again, maybe I would have if I had shared with them my story and how much God loved them.

The reason that I feel so strongly about the issue of speech is that our words have power.  They have the power to build up or tear down.  Do your words build others up, or tear them down if they don’t agree with everything that you say?  Once I attended a Christian women’s conference, and I was still on the fence, (pretending to be a Christian but not really living right behind closed doors.)  A woman came up to me after the conference, and she told me that my words had immense power, and that God told her to tell me that if I didn’t change my ways and get my life together, there would be people who would never hear about God…all because the words I was speaking and the things I was doing at the time were ungodly.  After she spoke this word to me, my mood immediately changed.  Would I keep on living a double life, (knowing that I would never really impact anyone if I was living a double life of “pretending” serve God?)  For hours after she spoke to me, I didn’t talk.  I knew from then on that if my words weren’t bringing life to others, they didn’t need to be spoken.

But even after all that, I was still sinning.  I still am.  But I sin less.  Now, I fear God – (and not in the scary sense of wanting to please an abusive parent, but in the sense that I have so much love and respect for God that I don’t want to let Him down by sinning.)  When I get to heaven, I want Jesus to say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”  I’m not going to wait until I’m old and have partied and sinned throughout my youth, supposedly “having fun,” and then getting saved on my death bed just in the knick of time to make it to heaven.  It’s a lie that Christians don’t have fun – I have more fun than most people that I know, and that is without alcohol or drugs.  And no, I’m not damning you to hell for drinking wine over dinner…  🙂  this is such a heated topic in the Christian world, but we CAN agree that the word says, “do not get DRUNK on wine, which leads to debauchery..instead be filled with the spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18,) as well as “be sober -minded and self-controlled so that you can pray,” (1 Peter 4:7.)  Well if I’ve had five glasses of wine and my best friends call me asking for prayer because she just found out her husband cheated on her, will I really be able to hear from the Lord, pray for her and tap into his power if I’m tipsy?  Probably not.  I hear people say things all the time like, “Oh I’d need a few drinnks to get up there and do karaoke.”  Not me…I’ve got the joy of the Lord on the inside of me…I’ll get up there and sing karaoke with you totally sober! 🙂  Christians have fun too!

In addition to guarding your mouth, guard your heart.  It is the wellspring of life, (Proverbs 4:23.)  The word says that “blessings and curses should not come from the same mouth,” (James 3:10.)  Examine your speech.  If someone heard five minutes of your conversation, what would they think of you?  Do your words point them to the fact that you love others, or does your aruging and negativity make them want to turn and run?

None of us are perfect.  We’re all growing.  We have never “arrived.”  🙂  Allow God to continue to make your speech pure and holy.  That doesn’t mean being “boring,”and living out this bland “Christian existence.”   You can still be lively and funny.  You can still be the life of the party.  But the difference is, your positive nature and love will stand out.  People will pick up on the fact that there’s something different about you.  And it will point them back to God.

Be blessed!

***The book is done…look out for it in the summer.  🙂

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I would love to hear what's on your heart! Please play nice, as comments which are negative or abuse in nature will be removed. This is a place to uplift and encourage, so join in if you'd like! :). Blessings!

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