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Hello everyone! I don't know about you, but the rhetoric over the past week from both the left leaning news agencies and conservative politicians has been cringe worthy. Yes, I'm putting them in the same sandbox because this week, they belong in the sandbox together. We've had calls to “defund the FBI.” We've had articles about the rosary being an “extremist symbol.” Such words are unacceptable on both accounts!! I won't go into the reasons why the words were said, tweeted, or written. I'm sure you already have some idea unless you've been living under a rock for a week. I lean more conservative and I don't like the rhetoric from either side, period. We all need to take a step back! Why? Words matter. Words are powerful. They evoke strong emotion for good or evil. They speak for good or evil. They speak life or death to a nation, a people, and to individual souls (Proverbs 18:21). Let's look at a simple progression of words to demonstrate what I mean. It doesn't matter what group I use for my example, the progression would be the same. Insert any group name you like and do the exercise – Republicans, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. Some of the words in my example I have heard over the last several years in this country, minus of course the example news articles.
All liberals believe horrible things.
All liberals want to take away our rights.
All liberals should be barred from political discourse.
All liberals should be arrested.
Let's go hunting for liberals – with pictures of guns.
Local newspaper reads: “Local Law Enforcement Targets Liberal Sympathizers for Ongoing Trials”
Local newspaper reads: “Liberal Sympathizers and Their Families Disappear Over Night, Homes Abandoned”
Are you getting the picture? Are you feeling a bit uncomfortable?
Eventually, if people hear these very simple, untrue, careless, unnecessary, and even evil words long enough– they will not only hunt them, they will kill them and jail them unlawfully. When there aren't anymore liberals to hunt, they will find someone else to turn their words on and eventually their weapons. They, in time, will come for you. This is how tyrants use words to get to violence - little adjustments at a time, desensitization here and there. Words matter.
All prejudice starts with careless, untrue words. All hate begins with evil, untrue words. All major wars and atrocities have started with careless, untrue, unnecessary, and dangerous words. Do you not see how this builds on itself? Do you see the common denominator? Lies. Lies are words. Words matter! How you say words matter! The Nazis and the Communists have demonstrated this for us but we don't seem to have learned our lesson. I fear for this nation if we don't learn our lesson and learn it quickly. Please don't misunderstand me. I know there are real problems in the nation. Many Americans have real concerns. I have real concerns. Our nation is a mess on so many levels in so many areas. We are in an election cycle so these things seem even more magnified to the average person. I am in no way shape or form calling for censorship of any kind. We have to have candid, honest discussions about these issues. However, what we don't do is throw careless words around and throw blame around. Our politicians and media need to take a step back, get control of their emotions, and think critically and logically about how to solve problems and tackle social issues. We must work together! We must understand that our words matter, how we say those words matter, and how people hear them matter. Are you familiar with that phrase “words will never hurt me (us)?" It's a lie. Words can and do hurt. As we have seen from history, words can drive people to do horrible things to other people.
The Apostle Paul addressed this issue with the Corinthian Church as did Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus went as far as to tell us that by our words we are acquitted or by our words we are condemned. The Apostle James told us the same mouth we use to praise God, we use to curse others.
Matthew 12:36-37 TPT; You can be sure of this: when the day of judgment comes, everyone will be held accountable for every careless word he has spoken. Your very words will be used as evidence, and your words will declare you either innocent or guilty.” (Italics mine)
1 Corinthians 2:3 TPT; “I stood before you....filled with reverence for God, and trembling under the sense of the importance of my words.” (Italics mine)
James 3:9-10 TPT; “We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sisters, this should never be!” (Italics mine)
Those are stout words about our words from the Word of God. Jesus' words carry even more weight when you stop and think. If Jesus, James, and Paul believe words mattered then, they matter now!
I call on our politicians to the Right and to the Left to listen to the words coming out of their mouths. Your words matter! I call on our news agencies to listen and read the words coming from their reporting and their articles. Your words matter! I call on our celebrities and our influencers to listen to the words coming out of their mouths and from their platforms. Your words matter! I call on our churches and pastors and the people they platform to listen to the words coming out of their mouths. Your words, and theirs matter! I call on the leaders of the other religious institutions represented in our country to pay attention to your words and the words of the people you platform. Your words, and theirs matter! I call on every American in every community to listen to the words you speak to others in your day to day lives. Your words matter! I ask of myself to listen to the words coming out of my mouth and the words I read as I type on this page. My words matter too, all of them.
Additional scripture to ponder: Proverbs 15:1 and 4, Proverbs 13:3, James 1:19, Colossians 4:6, Proverbs 21:23