An Exclamation Point Society (and Church)

Exclamation point of fireAs I was driving Augie to our monthly-ish haircut and our weekly Saturday morning breakfast together and reflecting on a Twitter friend saying a popular pastor committed blasphemy…

It hit me that, at least on social media (and it seems elsewhere), we are an “exclamation point society.”

Nobody just misspeaks, they LIE!!!

Nobody just interprets the Bible differently, they BLASPHEME!!!

Nobody just errs, they COMMIT HORRENDOUS, UNFORGIVABLE SINS!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong, people do lie…blaspheme…and commit horrendous sins (although the Bible makes it clear that pretty much anything can be forgiven). However, we seem to have lost any ability to wait until we have all the data to judge, to assume the best, and to give an iota of grace to our “opponents.”

To slow and temper our accusatory tongue.

Considering our Example…Jesus Christ…why do we rush to (emphatically) condemn? Also, when it becomes clear that our initial judgment might have been a bit overboard (or perhaps completely wrong), why can’t we just admit it versus arguing until the cows come home that the nuance doesn’t matter…or change the subject to some other wrong the bad guy has unarguably committed?

It pains my soul.

Especially since it has infected the church as much as larger society…

To wrap up, some scriptures to consider…

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (John 7:25, English Standard Version).

Know this, my beloved brothers:let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19).

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:2).

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent (Proverbs 10:19).

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding (Proverbs 17:27).


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