How well do you use your words? What is your daily language like? Do you think about what you say? Do you understand the meaning of the words that come out? Do you think about the tone of your speech? Do you know the tone and the words you speak can cause people to tune you out? Are you willing to work at consciously changing how you talk to people?
We see all kinds of TV shows where people “speak their minds.” We are blasted with hateful, deceitful, and angry words on that colorful box we spend so much time watching. Unfortunately, we end up acting just like those people we complain about. Why? For one, we regurgitate what we’ve been fed. For another, we don’t consciously think before we open our mouths.
It is true that some words change meanings over time. Yet that takes several years and often the meaning doesn’t really change that much. Not to mention, the root of the word stays the same. So even if the contemporary meaning of the word has changed, the root meaning still exists. It is simply hidden by modern culture.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be different. That includes the way we speak to others and the language we use. When we dig into the Scriptures and learn more about God, we understand this calling from Him. We understand that we are to carefully consider not only how we treat people, but how we speak to them or about them. We should eliminate gossip of every kind, speaking ill of someone else, taking God’s name in vain, and cursing in general.
Some may say that we should not sugar coat the truth. That is very true. We see examples where Jesus did not sugar coat it. Yet He did not use the offensive language we hear so much of today, even from Christians. He confronted evil and bad behavior straight on. But He did so with the Word of God, not hateful language and a bad attitude.
Many of us would love to change the world, even if we don’t verbalize it. We may simply wish someone else we are acquainted with would change. We can affect that change by being the positive example, the one who shows them through actions and words that they can change. No, it doesn’t mean we have to tell them they need to change, though that may be appropriate at times. It means we can be an example for them to follow. That’s being a leader.
I pray we all decide to be leaders in actions and words. I pray we all decide to think before we speak. I pray we set the example, as followers of Christ, for others to follow. Seek Jesus’ words. Speak as He spoke. Act as He acted. Treat others as He treats them. Love God, love your neighbor.
Psalm 34:12-13 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.