Politics is in full swing…
Iowa is history. New Hampshire is on the forefront. Then all the other states primaries fall quickly between now and the middle of June. (See complete list here) The rhetoric is not about using language skillfully, but rather how snide and condescending one politician or pundit can be over the other. Throw phrases and words around like so much slop, we quickly see who has command of their speech and who is simply shooting from the hip.
On the social fronts, our modern times allow for just about anyone to enter the fray. Easily. Every voice is like a chicken scratching around the yard looking for the next morsel to attack. The proximity of negative is like the rising tide, and if you are not careful you just might get swallowed up in the morass.
In between the segments of noise I hear a quiet voice speaking up. Sensitive. Timely. Attempting to get each of us to watch how we join into the conflict. Watch how you choose sides. Speak to God before speaking about others. Pray before you voice, or vote.
In the midst of this, I hear a scripture popping up in my spirit.
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: (Philippians 1:27 KJV)
Your conversation. Your conduct. The way you engage. The way you speak.
“The way you are known.”
It is sometimes difficult to not engage when the voices drown out your sanctity and peace. When the negative is bandied about like an out of control rocket. You rise like the trout to that fly, and you snag onto the line that will carry you about – out of control, even though you fight and resist. Eventually, you are in that place you never really wanted to be…
Oh, for a little time to flesh this thought out. That word. Conversation. Old English. Hebrew. Greek. Used only twice in the Old Testament and then by King David (Psalms 37:14, 50:23). Primarily used in the Epistles by Paul, Peter, James and the author of Hebrews. The source of this English word finds root in original language as:
Behavior, Citizenship, Behave as a citizen, Behave self
Valuable words describe how our “conversation” should be conducted. It is easy to let our emotions come into play. And get the best of us! How do we control our speech? Simple. You have to be in control of self… It’s called “temperance” in the King James Version and it is the offspring of a Spirit filled life. It’s a fruit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)
There is no law against these fruits. From translation to translation, these words improve with age, but their meanings are deeply held by those who are fed by the Spirit of God.
Love. Joy. Peace. Moral Excellence (longsuffering). Kindness (gentleness). Goodness. Faithfulness. Meekness. Self Control.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25 NKJV)
Crucified. Extinguished. Our fleshly passions and desires. So that we who live in the Spirit must walk in that same breath of the Spirit that breathes new life into our lives. That Spiritual breath (John 20:22) that the Lord whispers fresh living into our lives.
As we trounce through this year of politics, keep your Spirit alive and fresh, and your flesh and desires crucified. Live your life as totally unto the Lord. Do not be hooked on the bait tossed into the waters of your life!