#faithbites #faithjourney afraid
In the past week I have been involved in many tricky sensitive conversations. In each of these, I say people tiptoing around words or not saying a word as it may be the wrong one.
It’s ok to make a mistake. Words matter and saying the wrong one isn’t one any of his want to do. But we need to have grace. If someone says the wrong word, help them understand why that word is incorrect or what message that word means. For example, I didn’t no the origins of Meenie Minie Moe was racist and about lynchings. I want use that again. Another example was working with students who used the word hermaphrodite instead of intersex. I would rather have them use the wrong word and know why not to use it than not speak at all. Yes, there is a difference with the people who purposely use charged words. We aren’t talking about those situations.
I have also seen many who don’t want tos here their faith story because they don’t want to offend. They are afraid that they won’t have the words or the right words to use to share how God has worked in their lives. You don’t have to have These and thous and such to share how Jesus has impacted your life. You just need to trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. And if you use the wrong word, which you won’t, you learn, and grow.
Here’s the deal, we all will say the wrong word at some time. It may be because we grew up thinking that word was acceptable or because we don’t know another word. I often say, I’m sorry if this is t the correct word and teach me if I’m wrong.
We pray that God gives us the right words. We know how powerful the right and wrong words are. When we share our story and Jesus,we want it to taste like honey filled with gentleness and kindness. This doesn’t mean that we can’t correct and teach, rather that we need to be careful what we say.
My biggest fear, are the missed conversations and opportunities to share Jesus because we are afraid to say the wrong word. We can’t live in fear. At the same time, we need to build relationships and trust that our friends and loves ones will correct and teach us. Trust me, I would be in a world of trouble if it wasn’t for those people God put into my life.
So strike up that conversation. Be ok that you might unintentionally say the wrong word. Know that God will help you and others who follow him with understand.
Have you ever said the wrong thing or avoided a conversation out of fear that you may say the wrong thing? Fear not. Seek to learn, grow, and know that Christ will guide you.
Father God, language is tricky. You have given us the power to communicate with each other. While we have this power words often have contexts beyond what we know. Help us to avoid using challenging or charged words. When we do say the wrong word forgive us and instill a sense of forgiveness in those who hear our voice. Prepare our hearts to forgive and teach others as they would to is. Give us all a sense of peace and understanding so that we may grow and love one another. In your name, Amen.