Mask mandates, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Tonight life changed again. Many families were excited by the news, many were upset. Mask mandates changed in my county and you see both sides of the issue are either angry and calling it child abuse, others are relieved by the news saying finally someone cares about people. Knowing people on both sides of this argument I can tell you this post isn’t about the merits of wearing a mask or not wearing a mask. What I am struck by today is how the news today seems to have such strong response from everyone. My thought today is why do we always go to the extreme in our words about others.

Recently I have noticed more and more that we all seem to use language that attacks people in as strong a way as possible. If you don’t like masks you are murdering people and you don’t care about my loved one. If you are for masks you are a child abuser… We seem to want to go the extremes when it comes to attacking those on the other side of an argument. This isn’t just about masks. We attack people about race, politics, parenting styles, and faith. These days extreme language is everywhere. Maybe we need to rethink how we speak and comment to each other. Maybe sometimes we need to turn down the heat not escalate the situation.

I don’t know about you but for me recently I feel like words are just dividing us. Our anger towards others isn’t helping us have any sort of unity in the spirit. Yes we have things to talk about. Yes we can have passion for our point of view. Yes their is a right and a wrong. Just because someone sees the world differently doesn’t mean they are evil. That is a truth we all need to grapple with.

Maybe today as you go to bed angry about others views or mandates or something else, you should stop and avoid the name calling, the over simplification of the others points and listen, reflect and pray for those who see the world differently. Maybe tonight you will pray for that neighbor, friend or coworker who has said mean things to you and offer forgiveness either to them or in prayer. Maybe we can find the right words to speak with each other tomorrow. Maybe tonight we can turn the temperature on our conversations down a bit and find peace with each other.

I don’t know about you but I am ready for a world with less conflict. A world where people can use words to ask questions, understand, and hope together. Maybe for our kids we can show some restraint in see the good God is doing in others. Be passionate about your point of view but speak the truth in love for your neighbor.

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 1:19-27 ESV

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