Years ago, in a modest California home on a crowded California couch, I sat next to my Great-Grandmother who was visiting with my parents for a few weeks.
Remote in hand, I flipped through their zillion channels for something suitable to watch. It went a little like this:
Click. Pause. Interesting? No. Click. Pause. Seen it. Click. “Bleep, bleep, bleep, get your bleeping, bleep, bleep…”
If there were a record for the world’s worst remote control fumble, I’d have it, because I dropped that thing about five times before I could finally get a grip strong enough to turn off the television. I felt like I’d just been on the receiving end of a hefty slapping session.
I was humiliated to have subjected my Great-Grandmother to that.
In the same way, whenever there is a social or political issue that drives passionate exchange between differing views, I get flustered and humiliated when I see, hear, or read about Christians expressing themselves with insult, crude language, and in-your-face hostility.
Can we disagree with people without name-calling? “Speak evil of no one.” (Titus 3:2)
Can we talk about someone we didn’t vote for without insult? “It is written, you shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.” (Acts 23:5)
Can we have healthy exchange without it being a volley of sarcasm and anger? “Let your speech be always full of grace, seasoned with salt.” (Colossians 4:6)
Can we stop being right long enough to be compassionate about another person? “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” (1 Corinthians 8:1)
Can we consider that what we say in the name of our Master is a reflection of that very name, and choose to honor Him instead of doling out pieces of our minds at every turn? “Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” (Matthew 12:36)
Can we, as Christians, just have a little tact? Please.