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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Freedom to Speak

It appears that rudeness is more popular than respectful behavior these days.

I’m appalled at the growing inflammatory conduct displayed in society. For as many issues that divide us, it seems that the one who yells the loudest believes they will win.

But is life only about “winning?”

If I win today’s argument, it’s only a matter of time until there will be another battle to fight. So, at what point in life do we actually “win?”

Honestly, I’m tired of the “biting” and name-calling. I’m annoyed with those who insist on winning at all costs, even if it means destroying and demoralizing others. Maybe it’s time to lower the volume so we can hear each other.

In America, we cherish our freedom of speech. It’s a safeguard that allows for diversity, encourages dialogue, and respects different opinions. However, when violence derails civility, we’ve crossed the line.

Here are three things to remember before we speak.

1. Our freedom to speak is not a license for hate. Ever!

“For you were called to freedom, brothers [and sisters]. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

2. As passionate as we are about our beliefs, how we speak always has consequences.

“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15).

3. How we speak to others reveals a lot about us. It was Jesus who paraphrased from Proverbs:

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).

Our freedom to speak never permits us to hate. There is always a consequence to how we communicate. And my words, tone, and body language never lie; they accurately reveal who I am.

May your words today and always be thoughtful and kind as you reflect Christ.

-Richard Parrish


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