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Blog: Tom Job

A Note from Tom: January 12th, 2011

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey, everyone…

Hope you’re having a blessed week so far!

I’m passing through this week with a heavy heart, feeling the sadness that has filled our nation because of what happened in Arizona.  It has filled my heart, too.

A little girl celebrated her ninth birthday. She won’t have her tenth.

A couple celebrated their fiftieth anniversary of love. Only one of them will be there for the fifty first. How do you remember a wedding anniversary by yourself?

An astronaut is wondering if his mate will ever speak to him again. Or see his face again. Or take a walk with him again.

A young man had just become engaged. But he won’t be at the altar waiting.

I’m asking God to heal the wounds of those still left in the hospital, especially Congresswoman Giffords. And I’m asking God to heal, with time and love, the hearts of those left behind.

In listening to the news, so many are wondering if this sadness and pain left by bitterness and hate, is just the final word of a new way of talking to each other and about each other in America that has become increasingly bitter, angry, and hate-filled. The sheriff of Tuscon received unexpected attention in remarking that  “the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," Some say the bitter, hateful ways people talk about others who disagree with them, on the news, on the radio and TV, and face-to-face, has finally led to this. Others say that, even though words in America are more aggressive, angry, and accusatory than before, there is no way to prove these are related to this that has happened.

Probably no one knows for sure.

But I do know that there is a reason why people are talking about this. Words in America are more aggressive, angry, and accusatory than before. And I also know that our Lord Jesus has strong feelings about this.

He doesn’t like it.

I know this because He also had strong words about the way people talk about and talk to each other.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘you stupid’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You moron!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matt 5)

The Message puts it, "You're familiar with the command to the ancients, 'Do not murder.' I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder… Thoughtlessly yell 'stupid!' at a brother and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.”

Whatever else others may say… and however else others may talk… followers of the King of kings don’t talk in angry, hateful ways. Let others talk however they want. But He doesn’t want it from us…He doesn’t want it from those who love and follow Him.

Whether or not it caused a national tragedy, angry, hateful talk isn’t right.

In Tuscon, they are trying to know what they can do to begin to heal the city. Some believe kindness and consideration are the answer. At a rally yesterday, a speaker said, “Say ‘hello!’ Say, ‘I hope you’re having a great day!’ Do it from your heart! Starting tonight! And for the rest of your life! Maybe it would have made a difference years ago n the life of this young man. Maybe not. But we can do better, going forward…”

Could speaking to each other with kindness and compassion have prevented this dark, sad week? Probably no one really knows.

But it is the will of the Lord God for those who love Him.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love…”

(Eph 4.32-5.2)

It doesn’t matter if folks don’t talk that way anymore. It’s what our Savior wants from us….from those who love and follow Him

Whether or not it would have prevented a national tragedy, kind, compassionate talk is right.