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Thursday
Mar292018

When Speech is Hypocritical

Definition of Freedom of Speech:  “the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.”

One of the benefits of our technological age is the ability to post and promote ideas on the Internet and on social media. The downside is that there is now more pressure to conform to the norms of society. Today the presiding thought on guns is that they are bad, and if you don’t agree with those who either want to limit their purchase or eliminate them all together, your values are eschewed. How many times have you seen someone say or post something where in a day or two they are apologizing for their comments? Pressure from any opposition has made us afraid to say anything that could cause a disagreement or be accused of offending some group or person. It makes everyone pause to evaluate that our communication is not offensive speech. When did our right to speak our minds become politically incorrect? When did our right to freely speak our values and principles become an object of hate? Why can a young person like David Hogg speak his mind and it is celebrated as changing the world, while at the same time a person like Franklin Graham is condemned for speaking his mind about the Bible and truth? How come late night comedians can say anything they want in their mission to degrade our President and it is celebrated as free speech, while President Trump’s speech is usually seen as hate speech?  The one word that should come up more often in our conversations, as Americans should be the word hypocrisy.

Our lives are filled with hypocrisy, from the politicians in our governing bodies, to the lives of the people we work with, to our own family members who say one thing and do something different. It is hard to stay true to what we believe anymore because of the various ways we get influenced to change. Our speech is the easiest to be influenced and it takes a lot of discipline to correct its direction and filter its content. To believe it is wrong to gossip about someone, and then in the next breath we become hypocritical by speaking unkindly about someone, is a common occurrence with most of us.

This oftentimes happens in our spiritual lives as well. We are told by Jesus we need to pray for people who persecute us and are in opposition to our values as Christians. Yet, most of the time we are complaining about this opposition rather than praying for those who are doing the opposing.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He also said, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28).

Let’s be honest. We all have our moments of being hypocritical. Let’s go one step further. I was asked today about how to love our political opponents when we know their character and their worldview is utterly wrong morally, spiritually, and is hypocritical. I think the point is that we love people in the same manner of speaking as God does. He does not have more love for a Republican than He does for a Democrat. Some policies of either party may be more Biblical than the counterpart, but that does not influence how He loves or forgives us, regardless of our political persuasion. That may not rest well with some of you, but love has to work in the worst situations, with the worst people, or it is not love. Forgiveness has to work for the worst horrendous offenses or it doesn’t work at all. This is where that word hypocrisy becomes so much more relevant. We are more prone to being hypocritical when the pressure is on and we are faced with loving a liberal, or forgiving the arrogance of the ungodly.

Let us not waver or be influenced by others or the culture, whether it is in how we commit to something or the manner by which we speak. Let us be influenced by God and allow Him to convict us about staying true to what we know is morally and spiritually right.

Matthew 5:37  "Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil."

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

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