Pastor’s Pen

August 31, 2016

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”   Ephesians 4:29

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24

Research tells us that our country is getting meaner. There are a variety of issues cited that contribute to this tendency. You may have a few theories of your own. Nevertheless, our culture is shifting towards permission to say or do whatever we personally feel like saying or doing if it makes us feel better, regardless of the impact those words may have on someone else.

Our mamas were right when they said, “If you can’t something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” They understood Jesus’ message about love with skin on it. He said, “Let your speech be plain. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

For those of us who try to live faithfully as followers of the Way of Jesus, we can opt out of participation in this slippery slope towards mean. We know what it’s like to be visually assaulted on our computers with so many ads and so much information that we’re sometimes unclear which button to push if we actually want to participate in something.

Fortunately, most companies have a tiny, one-word choice at the bottom of every home page that says either “opt out” or “unsubscribe”. What if we create an internal faith button that “unsubscribes” whenever we find ourselves invited to participate in “mean” speech? Paul wrote in one of his letters to the early church in Rome: “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Prayer: We thank you God, that you set a course before us with clear guidance on how to treat each other. We know that encouraging words please you. Show us the way, this day, to encourage or lift up those around us by how we speak. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland