A few days ago, I responded to someone’s Facebook post. In the post, I used what some would call a derogatory term to describe a political decision. And although it was not a curse word or a word that I ever use to describe a human-being, the original poster and another respondent found the word to be offensive. I respected the fact that they found fault with the word and me using the word and told them so, but I left it at that. When I was reading the responses I was also listening to a sermon by Dr. Bill Winston. In this sermon, Dr. Bill Winston said, “Christianity was never meant to be dictated, it was meant to be demonstrated.” And as I pondered this profound statement, I became convicted about my use of the word in my Facebook comment. And although I as not calling any person out of their name, I can see why these two people were offended that I even posted the word.
I began to think about Dr. Bill Winston’s statement and how I demonstrate Christianity. I realized that demonstration is not all about the words we say and the behaviors we exhibit, demonstration is also about what we do not do and words we do not say. As a Christian, I must model appropriate actions and words because I am called to be the salt and the light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14). Just because I have been saying this word since I was a kid does not make it okay for me to keep saying it, especially knowing that I am unintentionally offending others. The original poster’s comment was that she found the word to be offensive and does not use the word. I could have became defensive, and possibly would have had I not been listening to that sermon. Proverbs 19:20 (NCV) says, “Listen to advice and accept correction, and in the end you will be wise.” Even though the no one specifically told me that I should not use the word, I could tell that they would rather I not. And though I cannot say that I typically find wisdom on Facebook, in my Christian walk I desire to be a reflection of Christ and I cannot do that if I am too foolish to grab each opportunity to learn how to demonstrate Christianity to a world that seems to reject Christ.
Have you ever had to accept correction from an unexpected person or place? Or do you have trouble accepting correction from unlikley teachers?
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