Watch Your Language, Change Your Heart

You become what you do repeatedly—Ancient Wisdom, modern psychology.

We, the referees, had begun relaxing enforcement of language in adult soccer games. Dropping F-bombs became common. Keeping adult (18-35) males from fighting during matches was always a problem. If I finished an adult male game as referee and could shake hands and just walk to my car (rather than running), I felt as if I’d accomplished 75% of the goal.

Authorities noticed that among other things, this language problem was not good for the families with young children watching the game on an otherwise pleasant Sunday afternoon. So they instructed us to clean up the language.

It helped clean up the game! Duh!

People seemed to automatically know that around me, don’t drop the N-bomb or any similar other ethnic slurs. If only for a short time that made people stop and think, it was an accomplishment.

If we all whether forced or a decision we made cleaned up our language about other peoples, eventually our thinking and attitude will show a change.

NASCAR just made a momentous decision to ban the Confederate flag. The flag partly shows rebelliousness. Especially certain groups of guy take pride in being a rebel. But the flag also stands for forming your own country broken apart from the US in order to keep slaves. Therefore, it lasted as a symbol of racism.

Maybe if all the followers wore US flags instead of Confederate flags some attitudes would begin to change? I don’t know. But I know that if we consciously change what we do, say, proclaim through symbols, then we can change our hearts. It takes time. Months, even years.

It’s a good time to look in the mirror and especially put all of our words up for reflection. Does what we say and write on social media reflect Jesus’ command to love one another? Or is it tinged with bias, hate, anger?

This is a good time to change the way we talk and write. People are people, God’s children, not objects. Let our language reflect that. Make that one of our spiritual disciplines for the summer.

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