And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:14
In the United States we are about one month away from Election Day – and this year we elect a new president.
I wrote about the nastiness of American politics and elections here.
The sad part about nastiness in American politics is that it doesn’t have to happen at all.
But for the Christian, another way of life is not only possible, but encouraged.
Actually, its demanded by God. But because it isn’t possible to speak well of our neighbor to God’s standard, the Son of God died to forgive us this – and every other – sin.
With the power of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, we can speak well of our neighbors (remember, a neighbor is everyone around us).
With the power of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness we can refrain from slandering our neighbor by complaining and spreading rumors about them. Instead, we speak constructively about our neighbor.
Here’s what constructive speaking looks like:
- We defend them when someone else speaks badly of them. We don’t lie about them, we don’t make up good things that are not true about our neighbor to defend them against attacks from someone else. But we do find something good about our neighbor to speak about. At the very least, our neighbor is someone for whom Christ died and rose again!
- If possible, we point out the good qualities and deeds of our neighbor. If they have helped in a soup kitchen or donated clothing to help a woman’s shelter, point that out to people.
- When our neighbor does something that is questionable to other people, try to explain what our neighbor has done in the kindest way possible and put the best construction on it. While it is a good thing our mothers have taught us: “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all”, even better is to actually find something nice to say!
I think you probably know what it looks like when someone speaks ill of someone. You can turn on the TV or the radio and get a plethora of examples of people ridiculing other people, gossiping about them, labeling and demeaning them because of a particular fault or characteristic.
Today it isn’t limited to politics or to TV and radio – people are bullied on social media on the internet. In fact, sometimes it appears that the internet has been invented for just this very thing!
But let us – you and I – be different. Let’s set a new example and a new standard.
Let’s speak well of everybody!
Because Jesus Christ died to save everybody!
©2016 True Men Ministries