Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.…….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. Ephesians 4
I’m chuckling here, but in all my days on the internet having discussions and debates with assorted strangers, God has very nearly had to bellow those words into my ears. Honest to goodness, I was getting pounded on once and had the opportunity to fire back in kind, a perfect chance to completely demolish somebody’s argument, and God simply said, No. Be ye angry, and sin not.
What the heck?? Where’s the justice in that?? I had to sit on my hands. Literally. And bite my tongue.
I’ve taken it to heart however, and I’ve seldom slipped up. Things have gotten heated, I’ve snapped at people, but I try not to use harsh language, foul words, or vicious personal attacks. Has the favor been returned? Oh no! Threats, bullying, name calling, etc are quite common. IB sea worthy, if you get my drift.
First a note on, “Be ye angry, and sin not.” Anger is okay! It’s okay to get mad. It is a normal, healthy response to assorted injustices, like the injustice of having to share the planet with stupid people. You have a right to be angry about that. The problem however, is how we express our anger. Feelings can lead to actions. Anger is not an excuse for behavior. If you wouldn’t do it when you were calm, you can’t be doing it when you’re angry. Feelings don’t justify behavior.
At the time God was cleaning up my ahem, internet language and behavior, I had no idea why it mattered. A bit like a little kid, I just thought it was terribly unfair. I’ve since learned however, and it has paid off. For one, it takes a lot of emotional self discipline not to get angry and self discipline is always a good thing. Good for your blood pressure, too.
Also, three times I have been accused of bad things. The first time I held my breath thinking, I wonder what hostility they’ve screen-capped and plan to use against me? You know what the evidence against me was? “Peace. I have no desire to do battle with you. I’ll keep you in my prayers.” Yes, I said that. Pretty pathetic, huh? It’s almost laughable. Actually it’s downright embarrassing. I almost wish I’d said something less well, girly and gentle.
That is not the primary concern, however. The truth is that your words matter far more than you can even imagine. You will be heard. If you wish to win hearts and minds, speaking your truth as calmly and clearly as possible will resonate. You can bank on that. People have come to Christ because the truth of who Christ is was presented gently. People have changed their political views. People have gone on to research and discover there really were deceptions entwined in their beliefs. Marriages have been saved. Romances have started.
Never underestimate the power of that calm, rational voice speaking worlds of truth. It resonates far more than shrieking ever will.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying..
I often like to say, if you can lead a horse to water, you ought to be able to hold his head under the water and make him drink! What kind of a stupid horse doesn’t drink when he’s thirsty? The truth however, is that you can’t. You cannot force anybody to think or believe anything. You have to respect them enough and respect your own words enough, to let it go.
This is not a personal post directed towards anyone, actually it’s a political post. Political candidates, rising stars, have fallen because of a few hastily spoken angry words caught on tape. We’re living in a world comprised of nothing but narratives, mostly false narratives in the media. It is unfair, corrupt, and devious as all get go. However, it is a game we don’t have to play. Harsh perhaps, but those words could never have been caught on tape if they had never been said.
Recently we became aware of some paid provocateurs that preyed on people’s anger and helped to inspire the Ferguson riots. That is appalling, but it wouldn’t have worked if people hadn’t been nursing so much misdirected rage just waiting for someone to capture and channel it. …let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil….
People are being played all over the country. There is social engineering going on everywhere and the goal is always to control the narrative. People are free to do whatever they want, I’m just saying, that’s a game you can’t win if you don’t play smart.
****This is a repost on account of the fact that there really are these provocateurs, these trolls, sometimes Russian but not always, who are on the internet and actively attempting to sow division and stir up civil unrest, especially around racial matters. I’ve been saying this since forever, because I’ve bumped into them. They create narratives, they pit different groups against one another, they make things up. Don’t believe everything you think.