There’s a difference between grumbling and healthy venting. My name isn’t Funk & Wagnalls but here’s how I would define the difference. “Grumbling” is reactionary, undisciplined, and envelops others in the cloud of your verbal fumes. It’s common in an era of quick clicks, posts, and chronic noise. But in contrast, healthy venting is deliberate … Continue reading Healthy venting
Technically speaking, a “mouthpiece” is a spokesperson for someone else. But it can also be used derisively. If someone is called a mouthpiece with a certain tone of voice, it means they’re mouthy—that they are using words that are rude, insensitive or arrogant. Because we’re sinful creatures it can be easy to backslide and start … Continue reading From mouthpiece to mouth-peace
This week we’re spending some time with Jesus’ words in Luke 6:31: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It’s the principle of moral reciprocity. Living it out is a life-long effort. To fight against the tendency to oversimply this high ethical calling, we’re taking some time to think through a … Continue reading Honest, but not cutting
The internet has a polarizing effect. Recently a well-respected Christian organization posted a blog. Since it touched on the topic of politics, the comments came fast and furious. (Apparently, politics can be a touchy subject these days. Have you noticed?) Unfortunately, the comments were highly charged, accusatory, derogatory, and unfair. Have you noticed how quickly … Continue reading The polarizing internet
Do you want to persevere through this challenging chapter of life? If so, James 5 provides some powerful and down-to-earth How-To’s. Amongst other things he says, “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged” (verse 9). Perhaps his first-century audience was in the habit of moaning and groaning against each … Continue reading Undermining your own goldmine
I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But of course, it’s a lie. A more accurate rendition might go something like this: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may forever hurt me.” We’ve been talking about the … Continue reading Sticks and stones
Words. They have power, don’t they? In the Bible, James writes: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3:9-10). So if … Continue reading Your verbal legacy
Have you ever heard of someone getting their mouth washed out with soap? I’m guessing it’s not something that happens very much anymore, if ever. And that’s a good thing. But have you ever wondered why people did that? Among other things, it was a symbolic act meant to teach a child that their words … Continue reading Washing your mouth out with hope?
The presence and power of God are always around us—sometimes we just need the reminder. Let me give an example. Many of us say “goodbye” to someone when we part. A few years ago I learned that “goodbye” is from an old word “godbwye.” It’s a short form of “God be with you.” People used … Continue reading The power of “God be with you”
My wife and I are in a small group. We meet weekly with people from our church to talk about Sunday’s sermon, the Bible passage, and pray together. One of the real benefits is hearing other people’s insights and ideas. Recently we were talking about how easy it is to over-commit. For a lot of … Continue reading When is being nice a bad thing?