What has happened?
We live in what many see as a disrespectful world. Everybody seems mad about something or always seems prepared with something unkind to say. Many seem to have forgotten how to talk kindly to each other. Yet, in life, we continuously seek answers. It may be something of great importance or as simple as, “What’s for supper?”
The response, the answer given, is essential, but equally as important is the tone of that reply. Starting a fire and putting one out are two very different things. If we took just a minute to look at the main headlines in the news right now, it would not take long to see that words are at the core of it all.
It is not just the content of the answer, but more so, the tone or attitude of the reply. Many express a legitimate argument about their passions. However, the manner in which their words are spoken has one of two effects. They bring positive attention to the matter or make many people mad. There is generally no in-between.
Times past (words hurt or help)
When we were growing up, we understood this principle quite quickly. If your mother or father asked you a question, you knew how to respond, and generally, there was no room for exceptions. So, yes, in the not-so-distant past, there was a time when respect still existed. It would be a welcomed return.
We have seen the culture of respect lost on a large scale today. Why is that? Why is there constant disrespect given to anyone? It does not matter if it is the guy on the corner, a police officer, a parent, or a teacher. Instead, we see answers given today in the most sarcastic way possible or, even worse, violently and angrily. It is sad to see. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that much of this starts at home. Why have manners stopped being taught?
Very few stop and realize that such actions seldom have a good result. The cause or issue raised does not get the proper attention it needs because of the activities and words of those involved. So, for the believer, how does this apply? How does this matter? We must understand how we respond, the answers we give, and how we offer them is a reflection of our heart, which, in turn, is a reflection of God. Do we consider this?
Stop before speaking (words matter)
Yes, we all get upset about things. We may have a deep hurt along the way. We may even feel justified in using harsh language or giving answers that are not so Godly. First, however, let’s consider the cost, what comes from those answers, and the attitude behind them.
Do you start fires with your answers or put them out? Our words matter. The heart behind those words draws one to Christ or sends them running in another direction. But, as the writer expresses in the Proverbs, there is a difference in the reaction to the words given. Let’s keep that in mind as we dwell within the ever-growing harshness of this world and be cautious not to add to it but rather show others there is a better way.
Something to think about!
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