Lately I have heard horror stories of the way people treat each other in church. Such as the man who didn’t want to share what he thought should be his solo with a teenage girl so he tried to out sing her instead. It was her first chance to sing in front of the congregation and it crushed her spirit. Or the woman who followed a young mother with an unruly two year old out of the sanctuary to tell the mother that her the child was not welcomed back in because it was disturbing her worship experience.
A friend of mine had a quote of the day on his blog –
The tongue should have three gatekeepers-
is it true,
is it kind and
is it necessary.
I would add a fourth – does it reflect Christ? Even for Christians, the temptation to in engage in gossip, slander, and hash words is nothing new.
James wrote to his churches that the tongue is a weapon. (Chapter 3) He said it should be bridled and controlled lest it lead us into sin. But he also said no one had the power to tame it. It is Christ living in us that helps to change us and change our words.
Peter wrote about the same thing. He stated: For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. (3:10)
The old childhood rhyme about sticks and stones is false. Words can break people. They can also drive them away from church and from God. Watch your words to each other, Christians. Ask yourself, who are my words serving – my pride or Christ?
Obviously we have still a long way to go until as Paul prophesizes in Philippians,
every knee will bow and every tongue proclaim Jesus is Lord. (2:11)