Speaking With Care

Written by Anthony Douglas on 12 August 2017.

Handle With CareOur society stands at a crossroads, and yet we think we’re somewhere completely different. Listen to the radio, wander through Facebook, pick up a newspaper: wherever you look, the tension is simmering over Australia’s marriage laws, and how they might be changed.

But as significant as that discussion is, it’s not the real point of conflict in our society. Rather, the critical question is whether or not we are still able to communicate with one another. In an age dominated by mobile phones, the internet, and 24/7 news feeds, the tragic irony is that we seem less able than ever to talk with one another.

The evidence abounds. In the last decade of federal politics, even people within the same party have feuded endlessly. Pollsters can’t get a straight answer out of the public, whether it’s US elections or British referenda. What passes for debate in the public sphere too often looks a lot like a shouting match, and any effort at finding common ground is seen as betrayal.

In the next couple of months, especially, we are going to need to speak with care. And also, to speak with care. We will need to be as clear as we can that we speak out of love, not hate; out of grace, not a grudge; out of hope, not fear. That will mean we also must choose our words carefully, to avoid unnecessary offence or misunderstanding.

It won’t be easy, but this is a great opportunity. Christians will have the chance to not merely think differently, but to sound different. We’ll get many chances to turn the other cheek. Proverbs 15:28 tells us that ‘the heart of the righteous weighs its answers’ - so get out your scales!

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