Dear Christian Friends, What are Your Words REALLY Saying?
January 24, 2018
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about stories. Perhaps that’s not so odd since I spend so much of my time writing stories – but more specifically, I have been thinking about personal stories.
Everyone has their own personal story – the thoughts, circumstances, events and people that have shaped your life. Where you grew up, who your friends were, if you had friends. The things that happened to you and the things you did to others. Choices you made or choices that were taken from you.
That story, your personal story, effects who you are today. It effects how you respond to people and events, what you think on any given subject, and how you interpret people’s words whether they are aimed specifically at you or not.
As I’ve been learning more and more about my family and friend’s stories, and as I’ve been watching the way they react to certain things – and the hurt they feel when particular words are used, it’s been brought home to me that the words we use and the way we talk MATTERS. It matters more than I realized.
I wrote this article to start that conversation. And to acknowledge, to those people who are trying to internalize the forgiveness of Christ, I see you.
Dear Christian Friends, What Are Your Words REALLY Saying?
To my beautiful Christian friends who feel so passionately about sin. I love you. And I get it. God hates sin and so should we. He feels so strongly about it and wanted so much to save us from it that He sent His son to die for us.
I love that you know that, feel that and want to share that. It’s an important truth to tell, and the realization that we need Jesus to do that for us is the whole point of the gospel.
We need to seek good. We need to put aside our old selves. We need to proclaim the good news.
In your zest for condemning sin, have you ever thought the message you are sending is doing more harm than good?
When you sit in your Bible studies, around the table, or in your office building, do you think about the words you are using and wonder what those in the room are hearing? When you rush to point out and label sins, are you accidentally damaging the very people you seek to reach?
That person next to you, that person whose story you don’t know, may be hearing, “ . . . except for you.”
Sandra Samoska is a writer with a love for Jesus and a love for family. When she's not chasing around her four kids and doing all the things, you can find her writing about the ways God shows up in our every day lives.