Questions to Ask

In this day of instant social media access, where anyone can express their thoughts and opinions regardless of merit or even truthfulness we are being inundated with questionable information.

A piece of sage advice that has been suggested before you decide to speak or send your post into the stratosphere where it will live forever is: Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

As far as I have been able to determine, the original version of this quote by Bernard Meltzer, a radio personality was: Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

Either way, the advice is worth following.

Too many times, I have wished that I had run my comments through this filter before I spoke or hit the Post button.

For Christians there are other questions that we need to ask before we express our thoughts and opinions, either verbally or in writing.

1. Is what I am going to say in agreement with the teachings of scripture?

Passages such as Philippians 1:27 come into play here. Only let your conduct (includes social media posts) be worthy of the gospel of Christ. One commentator put it this way: “Believers are to have integrity, i.e. to live consistent with what they believe.” If it doesn’t line up with the Bible, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

2. Will I be able to share the gospel with that person after I say/write it?

What affect will your statement have on your ability to share Jesus with another person, who may stand on the other side of an issue from you? You can express your opinion, but too many times in the process of expressing our opinions we demean the person we disagree with. Calling people names or using derogatory language runs contrary to Biblical statements such as, Let your speech always be with grace (Colossians 4:6).

3. Will people think that I’m a Christian after they hear or read my words?

Another way to ask this question is: How will it affect my testimony? Words are powerful things – James equates them to a raging forest fire. People rightly judge us by what we say or write and make certain assumptions based on our words and the tone of our words. You can destroy your testimony with one careless, critical, cutting statement, post or tweet.

4. Will what I say advance the Kingdom of God or not?

Life is not about advancing your political position or party. It’s about the Kingdom of God. You might not agree with me here, but God is not a Democrat or Republican. He’s not pro-BLM or anti-BLM. He’s not liberal or conservative. His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). And neither is yours or mine. We belong to a heavenly kingdom and we need to make sure that our words are advancing that Kingdom.

You can be politically involved just remember that His Kingdom is the one that sets the standards for our lives.

The issue is not just about our words – it’s about our words in the context of our faith. If your words or FB Posts are not guided by and reflect a Biblical faith then your faith is not what it should be.

Stay in the Word,
Pastor Steve

Look to the Cross

These are crazy, stressful days. A world-wide pandemic, police brutality, social upheaval, riots, looting, angry words, bitter disagreements, competing narratives, racial divisions, and misunderstandings driven by different world views have ripped the fabric of our country into a thousand pieces.

Our nation has become so divided that people are suspicious of anyone with a skin color that is different from theirs; of actions that they can’t explain; of words that seem to have hidden meanings; of the possible unspoken intentions that words might or might not carry.

One of the sad parts of the world in which we find ourselves is that it doesn’t matter if you are in the church or out of the church it’s the same. It shouldn’t be that way but it is, at least for some people.

Is there an answer? For the church that is. Do we have an answer for how we should think about these things and how we respond to them?

There is. It’s the Cross. The Cross is the starting point for everything in the Christian experience.

The Cross changed it all, and it continues to be the compass for our lives.

It was at the Cross that anger met calmness. At the Cross hatred met love. At the Cross blame met forgiveness. At the Cross suspicion met trust. At the Cross guilt met innocence. At the Cross hostility met unity. At the Cross accusation met acceptance. At the Cross aggression met kindness. At the Cross violence met peace. At the Cross sin met holiness.

And the Cross won every time.

As Christians we are people of the Cross. We have been changed by the man of the Cross. We have been soaked in the blood of the Cross. And we have been sent with the message of the Cross.

Allow your mind, how you think about the issues we are facing to be controlled by the Cross. Make sure your words, whether written, spoken or simply thought are directed by the Cross. Let your life be a reflection of the Cross.

The Power to live the Christian life is intimately tied to the Cross.

For the word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us, who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Stay in the Word,
Pastor Steve