I was reading a blog the other day and the writer was talking about the level of discourse in our nation today. His conclusion was that we don’t really have a divide over politics, rather we have a much more serious problem. The writer said that Americans have gotten to a place where they just have contempt for one another, explaining that contempt is believing another person has no value whatsoever. Thus, when you see your opponent as value-less any and all responses to them are valid and acceptable.
Perhaps that is why we are seeing such divisive and polemic language being used in all areas of our society today. It is especially troubling, however, to see it coming from Christian circles.
As Christ followers, there are certain absolutes in our faith that are pretty much lines in the sand we cannot cross. They include but are not limited to:
- Every person is made in the image of God
- Every person has value because God created them
- Every person has free will to follow God or not
- Christians are to love every person – even the unlovable – period
The idea that we as Christians can have contempt for someone is unimaginable. Our Savior Jesus even forgave those who nailed him to a cross! Yet, we see Christians – or so-called Christians – hammering people with whom they disagree politically, socially, or otherwise in what can be described as nothing short of self-righteous rants.
We know from scripture that our tongue is perhaps our worst enemy! The Book of James has a lot to say about it. Here are a few verses that make the point:
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26
“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:10
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
“So also, the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” James 3:5
Believe me, I get as frustrated by some of the stuff I see out there as the next person. However, scripture tells us that we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). That means we are to think before we speak and determine if what we are about to say glorifies Jesus or tears down our testimony as a Christ follower.
Ephesians 4:29 tells us exactly how we are to speak: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
So, ask yourself this question: Are the words you speak encouraging and building others up or are they discouraging and tearing others down? If you don’t know, go back and read your social media feed and see what you’ve been saying!
It is a very divisive time in our nation. I believe that Satan is having a field day dividing and conquering us socially, politically, economically, and racially. As Christians, we cannot fall for his trap of having contempt for people with whom we disagree no matter how strongly we feel about any given issue.
Please, Christian brothers and sisters, keep your eyes on things above and stop being part of this world! Show basic respect toward others regardless of how they treat you. Forgive, show mercy, have grace, don’t judge, turn the other cheek, pray for those who persecute, and yes, love your enemies – bless and don’t curse them!
If you want to make a difference, pray. God is sovereign. Jesus is our King. Pray that the Holy Spirit convicts those doing wrong and helps them do right. Pray that unbelievers see the truth and come to faith. Pray that our leaders follow God’s will and not their own. And pray that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps you control your tongue when you’re tempted to give someone a piece of your mind!
Blessings to you this day!