Let’s face it, we live in a time where it is so easy to say and share harsh words about people we don’t like. We all have people we struggle with or have hard thoughts towards and, for many of us, it is really easy to avoid saying what we are thinking out loud. However, there are many times, and many of us, where we choose to share our feelings on social media or with a friend.
No matter what, we cannot allow ourselves to give into the temptation to “vent” our negative feelings with sharp words that cut deeply. Even if the person isn’t there to hear it, the words we share can still ruin their reputation or image in the eyes of the person you share your thoughts with.
There are many of us who would say, “So what? They deserve the words I am saying and I should be able to speak how I feel. Free speech dang it!”
I get it. That doesn’t make it alright.
If we claim to be a follower of Christ, there is very clear direction on how we should respond and recognize our enemies.
So, why should we speak kindly of people we don’t agree with or are truly our enemies?
- THEY ARE A PART OF CREATION! This should be our main reason for speaking well about someone we don’t agree with. God created them, just like you and me, and they deserve to be treated that way. We need to respect God enough to speak in a kind way about His workmanship.
- CHRIST SPOKE LOVE, EVEN FROM THE CROSS! If Jesus can look down and speak love and forgiveness from the cross, then we should be willing to look at people the way He did. He called for God to forgive because the people didn’t fully grasp what they were doing. At the time of His crucifixion, the people believed they were in the right. Perhaps the enemies you want to speak ill of are the same way. Perhaps they need some forgiveness because they might not know exactly what they are doing.
- IT WILL SILENCE THE NAYSAYERS! When we stoop to negativity and speak with bitterness, the world is watching. “Well, I know what I’ll do, I just won’t be open about my faith so it won’t cause damage.” Yeah, that’s not how it works. People want to see authenticity. Christ wants to see true disciples. He will not acknowledge people who deny His name. So, we need to share our faith in Jesus and our words will be a major part of how we share. The world wants to knock Christians, but what would happen if the Christians actually spoke kindly of their enemies and flipped the world upside down. 1 Peter 2:15: “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Fools will aim to destroy our faith, but we will aid in their foolishness if we don’t speak well about others.
- IT HINDERS OUR WORSHIP! If you truly want to worship God fully, then your words will reflect that. To offer words of praise and offering, then we need to be sure that we are reconciled in our differences. We need to exhaust every avenue to do so. Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24) We need to be wise about our words and the influence they have on our connection with God.
We might want to feel justified in speaking negatively about anyone who has treated us poorly, but Scripture is clear, we cannot.
May we see our enemies the way God sees them. May we be wise in our words. May we bring glory to God by speaking kindly of those we disagree with.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How have you found your attitude towards people being influenced by words?