"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and
thankful...Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with
salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Colossians 4:2, 5-6
When will we get to the praying for the country part? Well, since we're in the process of praying for our country's citizens, we're already there. As Christians, we are held accountable for every spoken, written, posted word that comes out of our mouths, or off the ends of our fingertips. We are not to speak carelessly or flippantly, and certainly not without thought for the impact our words have on others. It's hard to tell people Jesus loves them, when we are wounding them on a daily basis with our words. We've all been around long enough to know that things don't always come across in an email, text, or post the way we intend, which is problematic for many reasons. If you've ever followed a comment trail on an emotionally charged post, you know the rapid descent into chaos that occurs until the comments no longer address the original subject, but are only about making a point and lashing out.
We use scriptures as weapons to make others feel shame or to drive home our own opinions as if they were holy writ. The command to let our conversations be ALWAYS full of grace leaves no wiggle room. There is no exception for Facebook posts, or Tweets, even for politics and hot topics. Sorry. It's just not there. And yes, we have now gone to meddling. The bottom line is this, the way we talk to and about someone is a picture of how we consider them as a person, and that says more about us than it does about them.
Anyone else saying 'ouch' yet?
If our attitudes and words turn someone away from Jesus, well, I don't want that on my conscience or my soul, do you?
The only way we can manage this type of self-control, honestly, is by devoting ourselves to prayer. We certainly can't do it in our own power. We earn the right to speak into someone's life when we show them love, and can believe that they are of infinite worth to God. Souls are more precious than political parties and policies. Those things will fall away one day, but a soul is forever.
Prayer for today:
Good morning, Lord-
Help me to be wise today, in the way I deal with others. Show me how I justify unloving words in the name of freedom of speech. Stop me before I say or write something that would be hurtful, and give me wisdom to refrain from useless debates and arguments. Let everything I say reflect your Spirit alive and well in me, and let it draw others to the Light and Peace of you. The world is full of anger and bitterness and hurt. Don't let me add to that today. Help me to be watchful and thankful and constantly with you in prayer today. Thank you for grace and forgiveness when I get it wrong. Help me to please you today, because I love you so much.