I saw a headline the other day that deeply disturbed me, and not because of the political implications (heaven knows we are all bombarded with enough of that kind of input). But as an influencer of children, I was really concerned.
The headline read “329 people, places and things that Trump has insulted on Twitter.” The writer of this New York Times article has painstakingly analyzed Mr. Trump’s Twitter account since June of 2015. And he found that there was an amazing disrespect for Supreme Court justices, senators, the Speaker of the House, countries, states, institutions and all kinds of every day people.
I realize that there are always two sides to political dialogue and I do not want to get into that discussion. But what struck me was the fact that insults were making news.
We have become a very insulting culture. We tend to respond to even the slightest form of offense with a barrage of words that demean the other guy. We do it in our cars as we evaluate the driving ability of those around us. We do it with our co-workers around the proverbial water cooler in our offices. We do it in our minds while standing in line at the grocery store.
Our quick assessments are rushed to our verbal center and out comes the negativity!
Contrast that with the description of the wife of noble character in Proverbs 31: “She opens her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
Maybe our focus this week ought to be on “speaking with kindness.” If you are anything like me, that effort will require that I think less about myself (my schedule, my priorities, my wants). It will necessitate slowing down my responses. The apostle James said, “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to be come angry.” (James 1:19)
It will mean that I must react less, contemplate more and consider the needs of others before my own.
Drawing conclusions and making assessments are a natural and integral part of our modern lives. But surely we can do so with more graciousness and less insults.
Especially this week, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable, oh Lord.” (Psalm 19:14)