Monday, September 24, 2007

EVERY IDLE WORD

I have thought of writing along these lines in several comment sections of some blogs I've read the past few months but decided it is too long and should be said on my own blog. So I will say it. Whether anyone reads it or not I will have gotten it off my chest.

When I'm personally offended by a comment or post on a blog I write a personal E-mail which I've done on a few, very few occasions. But what I wish to say now is not an offense as much as a deep burden for us all as Christians.

We are to never forget, I would think, that we are going to face in some fashion some day--our words. The "give account for every idle word" is of enough significance that perhaps a guard is needed for us all in our present day more than anytime I can remember. Words are to be used to speak the truth and are always to be spoken in love. That is a given. And-- we have problems that do need to be corrected--we have people who need to be confronted--that is a given also. The Scriptures themselves give us guidance and even illustrations that these things are sometimes needed.

It goes without saying that when correcting a problem the personal views that contradict those of another are necessary and will be spoken--or written--if a blog is used. That's using language properly. It may not be pleasant but it is certainly biblical to do so.

When confronting a person facts are essential and will only be said publicly after a private word has been given if it's a personal offense with which one is dealing. If not, at the very least--keeping it to public things said or done that are on record--is necessary. That too may not be pleasant but is also biblical as Paul and Peter illustrate.

But what I'm concerned about is the use of language/words to asperse one another. To use our words in such a way is a serious matter it would seem to me. A word shows expressive value in what it refers to but can take on deeper meanings if we're not careful. It can show our emotion, judgment, or a predisposition toward putting a person down with ridicule or shame. It is the put down remarks that I believe are clogging the Internet--especially on blogs--and will cause us to reap a whirlwind of coarseness that could spill over into our pulpits and churches and may already be doing so. I may be refering to a tone as much as words--but the end result is we can become Calumniators--which is an oxymoron when used with the word Christian--or even minister.

May God deliver us from this devastating atmosphere and restore us to being people of the Spirit who is Himself confrontive--even corrective-- but always gentle and gracious. Just my thoughts on what I perceive to be a very present danger.

Paul Burleson


Footnote:

"Asperse" is used as a verb and means to slander or defame one's character.
"Calumniator" is used as a noun and refers to the person who makes false and malicious statements.

8 comments:

Alyce said...

ouch
now that is painful, but I do have confidence that God can work that in me.
I needed this.
Thank you.
Alyce

Paul Burleson said...

Alyce,

You've spoken of the confidence that God can work it in you. I'm not surprised that you have both the desire and belief that He can and will do so. That's the kind of person I've found you to truly be.

It was a delight to be in your fellowship for those few special days. Tell Mackey hello for me and your family too. They are all great people.

Kevin Bussey said...

Ouch is right. That is why I will no longer go to any site that has 3 letters that begin with S and end with C. If I don't read,then I won't get angry.

Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

Paul Burleson said...

Kevin,

My ticket is in hand and I'm ready for our meeting. Looking forward to it.

Alycelee said...

Ha Kevin,
I feel your pain.
Paul, I appreciate you. In fact, little Friendship Church has adopted you as a father.
We had a testimony service Sunday evening and ask people to speak on our time of revival and renewal.
So many people spoke of how God had 'changed their minds'. Both Roy and Keith spoke on spending one-on-one with you and what an impact on them you were.
I thank God for sending you to us and have NO doubt that He was in control of the entire events.
Whatever Mackey and I can do to help you, assist you, just call-you have friends in North Little Rock, AR

Paul Burleson said...

Alyce,

What a great time it was. I told My wife it was one of the top half dozen meetings I can remember having. Trust me when I say the key was not in what was said by me, [I've said the same things in other places where they couldn't stand me] but is the openness and hunger for the Lord Jesus that you and Mackey, the people, staff, and Pastor all have.

It is that level of hunger or appetite that I believe is the major difference. He works to the level of our hunger as it says in that verse that says "blessed are those who hunger and thirst after THE Righteouness [the definite article is in the original] for they ,and they alone, will be filled."

That's what I sensed so different about your congregation. I also believe, to some degree, after 16 years of his pastoral leadership, your congregation reflects the heart of your pastor. What a personal blessing it was for me.

Steve Miller said...

Brother Paul,

I literally begin each day before I make contact with another person by quoting Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable unto you O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer." It reminds me of accountability, where it all originates, and who has the final word. It may not change the impact of the day but it sure does wonders for my disposition. Thank you for the timely reminder.

Steve Miller

Paul Burleson said...

Steve,

Well said...as usual.