I know there are many problems in our world and country today. To say the least, we are a deeply divided nation. It spills over into all areas of life. It is true that our leaders from the President, Congress, Republican, and Democrats have not modeled for us measured language and excellent listening skills. All of this shows up in our interactions with nearly everyone. Perhaps a lesson in civility, and respect for others. Everyone will agree unless it is someone or something we do not agree with and then we must give them our opinion.
For Christians, we are told throughout the Bible the importance of our speech:
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:7
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Colossians 3:8
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21
So as Christ followers we have a mandate to allow the Holy Spirit to have control of our speech and the actions that follow. I know this from experience. I love to talk, and I have opinions. One of the outcomes of the sanctified life is that the Holy Spirit is my heart umpire. On numerous occasions He has reminded and instructed me to apologize and ask forgiveness, not just when I have been wrong, but when my attitude and spirit have been wrong.
Yesterday I had a Doctors appointment adjacent to a local hospital. I must offer a disclaimer I was in pain and on pain medication. I arrived at the office and checked in with the receptionist. Two other receptionists were attempting to assist a very disgruntled patient. I hobbled to the only seat in the waiting room empty which was near the upset lady. I was at first sympathetic to the lady she was in a wheelchair, she was mature years-wise (around my age). They brought a manager who tried to assist her, nothing was helping, and the irate lady continued in a loud voice to scream and curse. The Manager gave her a number to call in an attempt to solve the problem. The lady proceeds to spew nasty, vulgar language directed toward the two young receptionists. I do not know what happened to me, but I turned toward the angry lady and said: “did your mother teach you to talk to people like that?” She turned toward me and stared at me. Then she replied “no, but my mother never had to deal with people like this?” (that is the sanitized version I can post) “Regardless ma’am I said I am sure your mother would not want to you speak to the folks in this manner. These ladies cannot solve your problem, and it is not their fault. They have been kind to you and have continually apologized for something that they did not cause. If you wait until after my appointment, I will go with you to the administrators’ office upstairs and help you lodge a complaint”. She said, “Thank you but I can’t wait, and she left with a few partying nasty words.” When she left the office clapped. The receptionist called back, and I got to see the Doctor immediately.
Okay, I am not telling you this to show what a hero I am, after all, it was probably aggravation caused by pain more the spirituality. Steve Sjogren wrote a book “Conspiracy of Kindness” with all due respect, I would like to start a conspiracy of Civility. The way we talk and treat each other. I think I will send the first copy to the President, the Congress, all politicians, all businesses, all moms and dads, children, teachers, students, pastors, and then just the rest of us for good measure. Now, I know the reaction to this will be: You don’t understand how stupid and mean and evil people are.I agree that our leaders should be more kind and less mean. But I also believe that I should be more kind and less mean. I have given up thinking that change in our world is going to come from the top down. I think a good start would be at my house! How about joining me? Let’s treat everyone according to the “Golden Rule.” “Do to others what you want them to do to you.”