Monday, May 14, 2012

Am I A Giver or A Taker?

Ephesians 4:29 “ Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” I’ve been reflecting on this passage and what that actually means to me in light of where I am in life right now. Foul language doesn’t always mean the socially forbidden set of words that we all know. It also refers to those words that will tear someone down instead of lifting someone up, and the tone in which they are said.
I seem to be frustrated recently by meaningless correction by some. Since the popularity of social media has exploded, it seems to be an open market for some to correct others in front of thousands of people. Mostly on insignificant things such as misspellings or words used incorrectly, i.e. there vs. their and so on. Seeing these types of things has caused me to wonder what the motivation is behind this type of correction.
I find myself countless times starting to type a comment or a response to an email in which I would like to do the same thing, but gratefully, the Holy Spirit whispers to me, “that’s not the right thing to do”. Am I really correcting in love (which is absurd because it is so insignificant and should be done one-on-one) or am I trying to make myself look better, smarter, etc. by making them look stupid?
Now, to clarify, there are times when we need to speak the truth in love (one-on-one, not publicly over Facebook or Twitter), and sometimes those things are not necessarily good, but certainly helpful. It’s interesting that the issues that I struggle with or have in the past are the ones that now frustrate me the most. I don’t post much on Social Media, I don’t usually send out mass emails and I don’t speak in front of large crowds. I am generally a behind the scenes person and so I am not out in the open to be criticized much. However, for those that are constantly putting themselves out there, I feel a deep sense of sadness for them when they are criticized ruthlessly over such unimportant things. And then it makes me angry. My first thought is, I need to respond to that to protect that person, whether it’s my family or a good friend, and I take it personally. But that is not my job. I cannot control anyone else's thoughts, actions or words. My responsibility is to make sure that the things coming out of my mouth and from my finger tips as I type are to be good and helpful to those I am speaking with and to lift them up with things that will be a blessing to them. If I can’t do that, I really need to keep my thoughts to myself. Just like the old saying I heard when I was a child, “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.” There is much truth in that and something that I need to work on every day. Carol Holmstrom, Celebrate Recovery For more information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

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