Feeling the Burden of Responsibility for Our Words

Nov 06, 2017

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Words matter. We know this. We all know that sticks and stones break bones, and that words DO hurt. But do we honestly treat them like they do? I feel like we may have moved into a place where we don’t feel the burden of responsibility for the words that exit our mouths (or our fingers).

Here’s why.

We like to exaggerate. We use absolutes – all the time, every single one of us (hehe). As a word nerd, I do appreciate good use of literary devices to make a point. But maybe, just maybe, we’ve overused our own extremes so often that now we actually believe them as honest-to-God truth.

We’re opinionated. Social media has become a vehicle to share those opinions freely. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing. But maybe, just maybe, if we were looking into someone’s eyes instead of at a device, we would take a minute to rethink or rephrase whatever it is we’re trying to communicate.

Honestly, we cut people down with our words. Sometimes we even use the Bible to do it. And I’m not convinced we really care anymore because it’s our “right” to have opinions. Or, we’re so afraid to hurt someone that we do them the discourtesy of not giving direct answers. Friends, this is also known as deception. Let’s call it what it is. Lying.

Ladies, why do we treat each other this way?

Have we grown that lazy? It does take effort to choose appropriate words. Personally, sometimes I don’t want to. I think, I shouldn’t have to take the time to do this. Everyone should just understand me and not be offended by what I say. But good communication requires thought and intentionality. Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

Have we grown that selfish? We think we have the right to say what we want, when we want, and how we want. And maybe we do. But just because we have the freedom to do something doesn’t make it beneficial for ourselves or others. First Corinthians 10:23 tells us, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

I don’t think any of us want to be known as rude, mean, or tactless. In fact, I’m pretty sure that most people want to be remembered as kind, caring individuals. And not all conversations are going to be warm and fuzzy. Some words are difficult, but necessary, which require even more thought, love, and grace. So, let’s remember that our words have impact. Real impact. On real people.

– James 3:6 – “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”

– Proverbs 12:8 – “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”

– Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

– Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

– Titus 3:1-2 – “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”

– Proverbs 15:1 – “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

– James 1:19-20 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

Jessie Chamberlain
Family Radio Staff

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