"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:34).
This verse has long been a challenge. Did those words I just spoke come from my heart? Did the words reveal something I didn't know was hiding in a dark catacomb? Did the words somehow expose a lurking truth about my true nature?
Daniel Darling recently released his new book titled A Way With Words.
He spoke on this episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network about his love for words and the importance of word stewardship.
"I enjoy words, and it strikes me that Christianity is a religion of words," he said. "God cares very much about the shape of our words, not just that we are on the right side of issues, but the words we use actually matter.
"We have a God who spoke the world in existence and gave us the written Word. Jesus is the Logos, the Word of God. One of the things that distinguish us from the rest of creation is the high level in which we communicate."
One issue that drove Darling to write his book is the proliferation of word wars on the internet and in social media.
"There's a lot of negativity and perverse ways in which these platforms can bring out the worst in us," he said. "The incentives seem aimed at destroying each other. to turn against each other, to be prideful. Now, in a fallen world we know that technology can be corrupted and used for bad outcomes. But innovation and development are something that God has created for us to do because we have a Creator who creates."
Christians must become part of the solution to the toxic flow of verbal attacks through internet soapboxes. It's not enough to simply disconnect into silence. Darling said, "We must understand that people interacting on the other side of Twitter are not just avatars. They are not a bunch of pixels. They are human beings made in the image of God. They may be wrong. They may disagree with you.
But God doesn't care that we have the right side. He cares that we use the right word. He cares about the tone and shape of our words. Ask yourself, 'Why am I doing this? What am I trying to accomplish here?'"
As Peter reminded us, "Always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15b).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.
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