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 (Eph 4:29)~~ People have always been rude, some will tell you that’s just human nature. But rudeness has gone to a whole new level especially since the advent of social media! What people seemed ashamed to say to someone’s face can now be easily posted on Facebook, or tweeted, or typed anonymously on a blog or web forum.
Why are people so mean today? Maybe we have watched too many reality TV slugfests; listened to too many politically charged sparring sessions on talk radio; found entertainment on all of the gossip shows on television or read too many hateful comments online. It certainly seems that all this toxic dialogue has desensitized us, and we just don’t care about or just don’t know how to bite our lips and say anything kind. And while I’d love to say that Christians are immune to this epidemic of harsh conversation, that’s just not the case. Sometimes we are just as mean as everyone else, even if we don’t drop F-bombs as often.
Many of us used to hear from parents and grandparents the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!”. Yes, there used to be rules for arguing, but today— the gloves are off, all verbal, written, texted, tweeted posted, snap-chatted and kik’ed weapons are allowed and there are no referees. It’s an all-out free-for-all!
What we need is a restoration of the qualities of the great commandments of our Savior – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt 22:37,39); What we need is a revival of genuine love.
So many of us need to let go of unforgiveness. The main reason people have anger seething under the surface of their hearts is they have not forgiven people who hurt them. Holding resentment in your heart is not only unhealthy for you (it can cause stress and lead to different forms of disease); it is also toxic for those around you, because they are subjected to your bitter venom when you speak. Forgive people quickly and allow the sweetness of God’s love to neutralize the poison. People today need to get healing from past abuse in order to stop the abuse they dish out. Many people are verbal abusers because they were abused, bullied, rejected or judged in the past. If that was your story, you can break the cycle through the power of Christ. Let Him teach you how to love people, even if you or no one in your past knew how. Also, seek the wise counsel of a mature mentor who can model Christian love to you, and take the risk of building healthy friendships.
My friend, ask God to renew your heart – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:10). God wants to put His very heart inside you, but He can’t until you make room by getting rid of every hateful attitude. Open your heart wide, and let His love invade the places you have closed. His fervent love can change a bitter, angry, cynical critic into a kind, gentle, affectionate lover of people. Finally, go on a fast from negativity!! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2); Take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) – choose to love. Many Christians fast at the beginning of each year to ask God for personal revival. But you can fast from anything you want and still be spiritually unchanged if you are complaining, grumbling, criticizing or spewing hateful words from your mouth every day. Ask God to set a guard over your mouth to instantly convict you of unkind words and actions that quench the Holy Spirit – Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)!
Heart, Mind and Mouth – Be Happy – Be Blessed – Be a Blessing!