James 3:9 – 11
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
Opportunities to say the wrong thing or become ensnared in a misunderstanding lurk around every corner. They are presented to us from the news, movies, books, and everyday conversations. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, people will take something we say and twist it or interpret it in a way never intended by us.
For the married but single in faith, some of these misinterpretations result in our faith being thrown back in our faces.
We have all seen hateful speech spewed by some under the guise of being true to their beliefs. Our faith resistant loved ones (including our former partners) may use these opportunities as challenges to make us defend our faith. These conversations are painful landmines ready to explode with one misplaced word. So here are some ways to maneuver through these perilous times:
• Before responding, take a moment to think about how you want to respond. Our loved ones need us to be consistent in our responses and quick to ask forgiveness when we react out of our humanity. We will get it wrong sometimes. We will lash out, show anger and our words will come across in ways that can be misinterpreted or taken out of context.
Remember, we are made in God’s image. He loves us and knows we will mess up, but we must always strive to be the best representation of His love. Our loved ones may not see His love from anyone else. They won’t see God’s love from people who use their ‘faith’ to put down or hurt others.
• Ponder these verses because this is how we will get through the landmines and pit-falls of this world.
John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)
34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
• When faced with a challenge to your faith; silence, a time-out, or a request for think time before responding are all ways to help diffuse the intensity of the moment. When in doubt, let words of love be your guide.