I would like to comment on many things taking place in the public square, but in doing so, I would probably scare some people and offend others with my frankness. So, I remain silent and pray. My lips carry multiple scars from years of biting them in an attempt to restrain my desire to respond to the emotional lure of the current hot-button issue.
It feels good to vent, at least for a moment. Some mask their venting under the heading of “speaking the truth in love,” patriotism, being a “prophet” or a wide variety of other permission slips. If our comments are not motivated by a heart of love and examined by God’s Spirit, we are just another source of negative noise.
Venting is fed by a cowardly bravado that comes from living an insulated life free of the consequence of our words. Social media and our TV sound byte culture have added to the problem. Emotional venting is short-sighted and insensitive. It can wound people without having a relational context in which to work things out. It can also invite a punch in the nose when someday the recipient of our unedited comment meets us in a dark alley. In the end, our venting only adds to the descending level of cultural decency we see playing out before our eyes.
Do I have opinions? You bet I do. But, “you got to know when to hold em’, and when to fold em’” as Kenny used to sing. Today, as I try to do each day, I will take my opinions to a quiet place and let God deal with my attitude before I open my mouth. I wish I had a perfect track record in this area, but like you, I don’t. Imagine what could happen if we all asked God about the integrity and delivery of our words before we opened our mouth. I wonder what the dialogue in our culture would begin to sound like.