Issue #132

Issue #132

The distinctive disciple of Jesus is quite some person. This series in ‘Being in God’s Service’ has certainly awakened me to the need for some urgent remedial work on my character. I have been greatly challenged to rethink my motivation in serving; how I display love to those around me; how I serve others; whether I have integrity in all I do; whether humility is really center stage as I serve and whether I am truly content in the knowledge I have of being in Christ. Yes, I must confess that I need some time out to reflect on these distinctives of a disciple and whether they are a reality in my life. And it is not getting any easier!

Today we consider the distinctive of speech and the use of words. Another challenging area for me! The use of words whether spoken or written has incredible power. One only has to consider history and learn how various regimes have tried to limit what people read and learn. The power of the pen in past times changed and transformed the lives of millions for the good. Equally, words have been used to destroy people’s lives. We see this particularly in the area of gossip and slander. Character assassinations are pretty much the norm these days and we think nothing of it, unless of course, it is us who is the target of the assassination!

James says very pointedly in his letter, “With the tongue (words) we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing … this should not be.” James also reminds us that we all stumble in many ways. In other words, we all struggle with the way we speak and the words we use. It is more of an issue today with social media and the power this media has over innocent and sensitive lives. Our speech and words can be either reckless or encouraging. This is where I desire to concentrate our thoughts today.

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