President Trump’s strongly worded tweet to Iran yesterday made big waves across the news media. Many espoused views that words should be reserved, tempered, and wise. While this is true, sometimes strong words are necessary to communicate a direct point. As Christians, we all face situations when others do things that we disagree with, or we know is sinful. Should we, in those situations, give our blessing to that behavior or temper our words so as to not come off as a disagreeable? Of course not. However, it is easy to become self-righteous, unwelcoming, and unloving when we vociferously call out any and all misbehavior around us—pushing people away from Jesus instead of closer to Him. So how should we navigate this fine line? Look to 1 Corinthians, as Paul said, “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” Strong words are righteous when they serve others but not when they serve self. When we speak strongly to elevate ourselves or to acquire power or money, we commit the same misbehavior we are calling out. But when we speak strongly or directly to some one in need to help, with the intention of helping them elevate themselves, we fulfill Christ’s commandment to us to love our neighbors. Today, season your words with love and support for those you speak with, and consider how you can use your words to build others up.
“Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” — 1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV