Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Should Consider What We Say and Who is Listening

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Photo on 10-9-18 at 2.15 PMLess than four weeks from now – our nation will go to the polls for the mid-term elections. I urge everyone to register to vote and to get out and vote for the person or persons you believe will help to make us a better nation. It is our legal duty and responsibility as citizens of this country to vote.

If you’ve been listening to the news or to TV – or the radio – or have read anything on the internet – you have probably heard what I have heard – or read what I have read. Men and women – people in political office – radio jocks – TV and movie stars – entertainers – comedians – folks on social media – and in other places – say or write some horrible things of late. Their choice of words leaves a lot to be desired. I mean I’ve stopped listening to programs on TV because of the language being used. I’ve even had to turn off some sports programs on my favorite all-sports channel. I won’t watch certain shows on TV and don’t go to too many movies. I’ve unfriended or hidden some folks on social media because of the language they use. Some people use such foul language! They even take the Lord’s name in vain – and laugh about it! There is a commandment about that with a warning!

Exodus 20:7 – You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Talking about blowing up the White House or kicking people – or mocking people with disabilities – or being told to shout at people in public – should never be something we expect to hear or read in America. From the White House on down we have become a nation that simply says what we feel with little to no filter. I wonder what my grandchildren will believe about their nation as they are exposed to this type of mean and demeaning expressions?

But wait – maybe I should listen to some of the stuff I say. I mean – I may not curse – or take the Lord’s name in vain – but I do not always build people up with the words I use. I mean – when I play basketball – I often try to get into the heads of the players on the other team – saying things that are not very uplifting. I learned to play ball on the streets of Seat Pleasant with some folks on Addison Road and in some of the projects of Annapolis – and you took every advantage you could get. At times I have been known to be less than uplifting when talking to others – or even my children or wife. Lord – help me to care more about my expressions. May my expressions be more loving and caring.

When I am tempted to fire back at someone on social media or get into a discussion with someone about politics or other sensitive issues – I am reminded by my wife – often – to think about how I could be uplifting. Often her words come back to me as I’m about to hit send on a post on social media and I erase what I have typed.

Maybe we should all consider what we say – and think before we speak – and lift people up – help build their self-esteem – and be a blessing rather than a detriment. What do you think? I think this should be our plan! We should consider what we say or type and who might hear or read it.

If we wish to debate with someone – person to person – we still need to be loving. But too often – our expressions are public and they can damage our witness. There are a number of people I think less of today than I might have in the past because of what I have heard or read from them. I don’t want people to have a bad opinion of me – so I try to be encouraging. I don’t always succeed – but I try. Try with me!

Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Can we put that passage into actions in our political expressions? Can it work for our dealings with those who disagree with us on issues like our denomination faces in the Special General Conference in 2019? Can we use this passage in our everyday life? I think so!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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October 11, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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