Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “What good is it my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him?” James 2:14 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Are you the problem or the solution?”
I read an interesting illustration the other day about the relationship between words and actions and how it is that one should fulfill the other. The writer said that words are like a check and actions are like cash. A check is a promise that there is actual money to back-up the check and in the future, if the person cashes the check, they will receive real money. Likewise, words are a promise of future action. Words are something we give to others with a promise that action will follow.
Actions on the other hand are like cash, they have immediate value. In James 2:14 we’re challenged and encouraged to back-up our words with action. Words by themselves can be insincere and meaningless – they can even bounce like a bad check. Words followed-up with actions prove that the words actually meant something.
We’re nearing the end of our study on the theme of “Changing the tone of the conversation.” Perhaps at this point you have good intentions to be a change-agent in your part of the world. Maybe you’re thinking that you will make an extra effort to be a calm and reasoned person, that you will be intentional and thoughtful as you speak to people with grace and kindness, treating them with dignity and respect even if you disagree with them. Congratulations. That’s wonderful. However, good intentions often fall into the same category as meaningless promises – they can bounce like a bad check.
What’s needed is for all of us to actually change the tone of our conversations. As I noted in the first message in this series, changing the tone of the larger national conversation will have to be a grassroots effort – it will have to start with you and me, him and her, them and us, and work it’s way up to the highest levels. The overall tone of the debate in the nation will have to be an accumulation of our individual conversations. We the people need to set the example for them the leaders, and then insist that they fall in line and start behaving themselves better.
So the question, the challenge, is, “Are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem?” Good intentions are nice, that’s the starting place, but good intentions need to result in better conversations. You have to follow through and actually do it. I encourage you to be part of the solution.