What Did You Call Me?
Civility is in critical condition if not totally dead in our country. Name calling, slander, character assassination, belittling, backbiting, and downright vulgarity spoken about others is common. We hear it in politics, sports, school, and even from Christians about other Christians or people in leadership. “Loving neighbor as we love ourselves” has been abandoned. Children listen to what they hear adults say and repeat the name calling as they emulate the level of contempt they have for their peers, teachers, or adults in their lives.
History is littered with plenty of illustrations of that same kind of behavior manifested previously. However, it seems that our culture has made it so intrinsic in our conversations and interactions that we now consider a person “soft” or “disengaged from the truth” if an individual does not agree with their peers in murdering a person’s reputation in daily conversations.
Respect does not mean that a person must love the individual in a position of leadership or a peer with whom they interact. Courtesy does not mean we have deep affection for the other person. Rather, it is that we have deep commitment to what we were taught by parents and by Jesus in how we should treat others. Attitudes that are hostile, hateful, and hurtful come from a heart and conscience that has been seared. Name calling never draws two people or two groups closer to the table of reconciliation. It only reveals the level of contempt that is rooted in the one speaking.
We all know people that just like to use some “less than courteous” name for another person as a poor method of seeking to level the ground between the two. Although, it may be “just kidding”, it may be saying in jest what one really thinks about the other person. Rather than potentially offend anyone of a different occupation that is reading this, here is an illustration that relates to what I mean to say. This illustration is about a preacher. (This was not at FBCBA! So, do not ask “who” said this about the pastor…!!!!).
A man called at the church and asked if he could speak to the Head Hog at the Trough. The secretary said, “Who?”
The man replied, “I want to speak to the Head Hog at the Trough!” Being sure now that she had heard correctly, the secretary said, “Sir, if you mean our pastor, you will have to treat him with more respect-and ask for ‘The Reverend’ or ‘The Pastor.’ But certainly, you cannot refer to him as the Head Hog at the Trough!”
At this, the man came back, “Oh, I see. Well, I have $10,000 dollars I was thinking of giving to the Building Fund.”
Secretary: “Hold the line. I think the Big Pig just walked in the door.” (Copied).
1 Peter 3:8-11 – Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good.