“Talk the Talk” Sub-Pages:
Speak (and Write!) in Charity:
Our words are powerful and valuable. They should be used thoughtfully and charitably towards all. It might help to remember that we go out into the world as ambassadors of Christ. Do our words belie our beliefs?
We don’t get a free pass on charity towards anyone. Hate the sin love the sinner. In our politically-charged culture, this can be very difficult. Cable news and talk radio are notoriously caustic in the way they talk about and judge others. Don’t let them set your tone for you.
Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners, otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. – Ephesians 4:29-32
Gossip is an enormous problem today. To reverse this trend we need to examine our own consciences, bite our tongues, and refuse to participate or even be a passive observer to gossip.
One area I’d especially like to mention here is being thoughtful about how we talk about our spouse and our children to others.
Don’t confuse gossip with seeking support for a problem you are having with someone else. This kind of conversation should be with a trusted confidante in private, be serious and thoughtful in nature and be aimed at solving the problem in some way (which can range from just needing some emotional relief by talking through a problem and understanding where you stand in relation to a situation all the way to asking for help in making an urgent change).
Keep it Simple:
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one. – Matthew 5:37
Include, Don’t Exclude
It is good to use language that opens the door to those who may not be as far along their spiritual journey as we are. This can be tough because we don’t want to ignore that there are differences (and the differences can really matter!). We do need to accept that everyone is on a path. We should pray not to be a stumbling block for others but try to understand where they are coming from and walk with them as we are able.
A tricky example of this can be seen in the pro-Life movement. Naturally we want to aim to be 100% pro-Life. We care about ALL the babies who are threatened by abortion for whatever reason: poverty, apathy, rape, gender favoritism, incest, health issues, etc. The hard part is that there are many people who are not there yet. Maybe they are really uncomfortable with abortion but aren’t ready to outlaw it in all cases yet. Maybe they are against federal funding of abortion, but aren’t interested in overturning Roe vs. Wade.
I don’t think there are any really easy answers here, but I think there are two points that might help: 1. We should be willing to work with others to do the good that we are able to do. It is not helpful to exclude them from the pro-Life movement just because they aren’t 100% there yet. 2. We can focus on that word *yet* and assume that others are on a path rather than firmly entrenched in one spot forever. And of course, as always, be charitable.
The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor. – Ronald Reagan