If the vibe of your everyday conversation tends to be voiced with sarcastic put downs and mean spirited ease, it is your right to speak this way. However, it is wise to understand that nothing of nobility or worth will ever emerge from this kind of talk. It simply flows with thoughtless effort, monotonously submitted to a tedious tide of cultural toxicity which has been gathering momentum for years.
When you’re swept away by the pressure of it’s current, it is normal to drag others with you, deep into an ocean of discouragement. Your vision becomes blurred by the seas of cynicism, so much that you can’t grasp just how utterly suffocating this is to vitality and confidence, not least your own. Only when you experience the freshness of a genuine alternative can you truly breathe and impart life to those around you. However, this means raising your head above the waters, going against the flow and daring to be different.
Words matter. In a hurting world, they can either add to the weight of people’s hurts and drown them in negativity – or lift their sinking hearts and breathe the oxygen of God’s healing grace to their souls.
When we first planted the Junction Church, part of our vision was to create a church culture that was so filled with encouragement that when people walked into our environment, they would experience something that is rare….love. We totally understood that this intentionality might appear strange and over the top to some, especially to those who’ve only ever known cynicism as the norm. However, what has transpired over these past few years is a quiet revolution in the hearts of numerous people. One person I spoke to recently told me of the impact this culture has had on their family. The pessimism they’d struggled with for years has been profoundly challenged and replaced with a life giving optimism they had never experienced before.
In truth, this vibe should be the norm for any church community. The bible says ‘mercy triumphs over judgment’ (James 2:13). If we believe this is true, this means that in a world of never-ending pessimism and judgmental accusation, we are the eternal optimists. How could we possibly be anything else?
No-matter how theologically correct a local church community might seem, if the atmosphere is not overflowing with the language of encouragement and uplifting others, then the toxicity of worldliness has come flooding into it’s culture, and is suffocating the potential of it’s people. Beneath the ‘spiritual’ surface are powerful currents of carnality which are both corrupting and corroding to life.
God has called us to carry a different culture – the culture of HIS Kingdom. It is totally different to the culture of the world. This has to have an impact on the way we converse and leaders must always model this first. If a leader isn’t carrying it, then the people they lead will never grasp it.
In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says ‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up…that it may give grace to those who hear.’
It’s time for us to have the courage to challenge the ‘norm’ of cynicism and create an alternative vibe to the culture of doom and gloom that’s so prevalent in our world. How do you start? By making sure your words are building others up, not pulling them down. By bathing your language in honour. Think about it. If enough people do it, this could shift the tide of momentum. It means going against the flow…and daring to speak life.