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Tuesday Tips: What do our words provoke?

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

open door, blue, image by Peter H, on Pnullixabaydata:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

"The pen is mightier than the sword," wrote Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

It’s also mightier than the bullet, the baton, the Molotov cocktail,

and broken windows. If the pen is so mighty, are we using it?

We have the opportunity and responsibility to use our words for good.

Are we speaking and writing about what’s important? Not in hateful

ways, spiteful, demeaning ways, but ways that offer understanding,

that leave the door open to peace.

Ways that show compassion, even for those with different points of

view—maybe especially for those with different points of view.

People of faith want to please God; we want our words to reflect who

he is and what he’s done in our life. That’s hard sometimes because

our feelings, hurts, and memories get in the way. But God can still

use us, if we’ll let him.

A verse in the Bible says, “And let us consider how to provoke one

another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10: 24). Well, there’s

certainly a lot of provoking going on. Words are powerful—they can

incite riots or calm fears, push people away or invite them closer.

What do our words provoke? Is our goal to eliminate opposing views

(and those who hold them) or to invite cooperation. To destroy

those we dislike or disagree with or, with God’s help, to find some

reconciliation, some peace, some way to live together in this world.

open door, image by Ruth Archer, on Pixabay


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