Civility by ACHUCKAllen
Our world is changing at the speed of light! I see change as a good thing most of the time, but I’ve drawn the line when it comes to the ridiculous lack of civility in this grand American experiment. There are a lot of cultural variances in what is considered to be civil. But as you read further, you’ll see that the Scriptures have plenty to say on this topic of civility.
I’m not sure if it’s new to our living generations, or if it is some carry over from a day gone by. But we have never seen such false bravado and flame-throwing antagonists as we see today.
Maybe it is the birth of our ability to hide behind keyboards or write nasty diatribes about the latest scandal, societal irregularities and misguided enthusiasts of hate mongering.
But truly, can we not lay our pitchforks down? Can we set aside our bigotted assumptions of people of every race, color, gender, assumptions or preferences long enough to have a moment of civility?
Jenny and I went to see Hamilton at the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta the other night and on the way out of an incredible show, grown men were in a testosterone enflamed argument about a parking place. Not a great parking place, a parking place that had plenty of room for other vehicles. What the heck?
Don’t hear me say that I am somehow above the fray here. I have a quick temper, an occasional rant of verbiage that you would not approve your pastor to convey. But seriously? It feels like we are in a constant fight over whose voice can be more crude, cruel, shocking, or even ungodly.
You have every right to say, “well, Chuck, what are you going to do about it? After all, you’re a pastor.” I’m not sure, but I know this for certain, that we must indeed trust the work of the Divine as He brings about a change of heart, soul, and attitude. That power will allow us to stop before launching a barrage of verbal, written and broadcasted missiles every single time someone doesn’t agree with us. And that starts right here in my attitude and my voice.
I cannot watch the news because it has ceased to be news and is now a platform to launch more verbal and visual missiles toward someone else’s opinion. I see it in every facet of life and I’ve been part of the problem. BUT THAT STOPS HERE AND NOW!
Will you consider laying down the launch buttons of your missiles and join me in seeking a more civil conversation? Will you suspend the outburst and anger that draws you to full-blown code red launch sequence?
The Scriptures leave no doubt about what we are to speak like:
With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be (James 3:9-10)
The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. (Eccles 9:17)
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19)
Let us remove the attitude of pride that reaches within us and stomp on it like a loose ember from a campfire. Let us search within and find a better people than our words and attitudes convey. And, let us cease this never-ending battle of pride and foolery as we unmask our own foolish words of hate and selfishness.
Somebody has to start the turn toward civility. Why not us?