Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


This sign was in every classroom that I ever taught and beyond basic rules and social skills I taught my special education classrooms, this sign provided a reminder for my students, my middle school homeroom group, teachers, and other professionals that words have power. 


Our words have power, power to build up and power to tear down.  Words hold power to inspire and power to oppress…Throughout Epiphany our theme has been:  Beloved…Be Loved…Be Love.  God calls you Beloved… you beloved…to be love.  We explored that we in being called beloved we have an identity, promise that we are loved by God, and a purpose to be love to the world.  We are encountering Jesus in scriptures and will be listening in in the coming weeks to Jesus teaching his disciples about how to live…how to be love to the world.  I anticipate that we will be challenged by these teachings and hopefully it will impact how we interact … be love to the world. 


So let’s start today… let’s be practical.  Think about your words, what words you choose to say, to whom, and how you say them.  Do our words reflect Christ’s presence in the world


TRUE - “Is it true?”

 Let this be the first lens. Sometimes, it is tempting to pass on something we’ve just heard, because it is a juicy tidbit or because we’re bored or because we’ve already complained about the weather. 

            Ask yourself -“Is this the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

            Another way I helped children figure this out is by asking:

                        “Have you seen it or just heard it?

                        Are you absolutely sure that this is what you saw?


HELPFUL - “Is it helpful?”

 Is there anything in the world that the hearer can do about this?


INSPIRING - “Is it inspiring?”

This invites us to another level. Who is it that needs to be inspired today? Inspired to put down the quick quips, that make you feel witty for a nano-second, but make you feel belittled? Inspire you to look beyond the hurting words to the hurting person who delivered them? Inspire you to be your best person.


            Ask yourself , “Is what you are about to tell going to inspire them to be their best selves                 or see themselves in the best light or are your words intended to hurt and demean and                 put down the other?”


NECESSARY - “Is it necessary?”


Is it mine to tell? Is it important that anyone tell? What will happen if I say nothing? If there is a fire, by all means tell, tell, tell. Use a loud voice. Dial 911. Or is it something that I want to say to see its impact, to let others know that I have some inside knowledge, or to dish dirt on a person with whom I am currently on the outs?


             Ask yourself, “Am I telling to keep someone safe or to get someone in trouble?” This is a             question that makes the distinction between tattling and getting help.


KIND - “Is it kind?”

 This is perhaps the capstone question. Is this encouraging, supportive, and compassionate to the one to whom it is spoken? Does this reflect well on the speaker?


In the coming weeks I invite you to reflect on how your words impact your being love.   In the last few months and weeks we are hearing a lot of words being said - lets pay attention to our words.  I’d love living in a world in which we all spoke the truth that is helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind. Together we can build that world.


Pastor Krista

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