There is power in language.
The old adage goes: Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Even as a young girl I knew that was false. Some of the most hurtful things I remember about my childhood were from words.
The girls in my neighborhood making fun of me.
Being told that I used too big of words, and I needed to just be normal.
We all have our insecurities, and unfortunately some people live to prey on them.
There are words in our society that should never be used in certain contexts, and some should never be used period.
You all know the ones. Racial slurs. Bigoted words.
When I attended a local university, I took an ethnic studies class. I walked in, and I was the only Caucasian person in the room. I drew quite a bit of attention just by being there, and it made me really uncomfortable. I took my seat, and hoped for the best. Not even ten minutes into the class, someone made a derogatory comment towards me, and I decided I was going to drop the class. I didn't want to deal with that for an entire quarter, and while it may have made me a wimp: I didn't (and still don't) care.
Now, did that one person's view of me guarantee that the rest of the class felt the same? No. It didn't even mean that the person who said it didn't like me. Maybe they were trying to impress their friends. Maybe they had a bad day. The point is that I left that class and never went back.
Last week, I sat in a church service and a minister was exhorting the congregation. To be honest, I do not even remember the point of his exhortation, because I was so shocked at the word that came out of his mouth. Something about his point had to do with homosexuals, because he was raging against the 'queers.'
Huh. Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm clear on what the Bible says about homosexuality, but I'm also clear on the Bible's stance of bigots and hatred of sinners.
We are to hate the SIN not the SINNER. In this case, it sure sounded like he hated the 'queers' and not the homosexuality.
When I looked up the definition for queer I found this:
Strange; odd: "She had a queer feeling that they were being watched."
offensive. A homosexual man.
Spoil or ruin (an agreement, event or situation): "Reg didn't want someone meddling and queering the deal at the last minute."
How do you think a homosexual would feel coming into a service similar to that?
Would they feel like Jesus and his so called followers loved him? Or do you think he would leave and never return, thinking that Jesus' followers were, if not just completely ignorant, bigoted.
Think about the goal of your words before you say them...do you want to show Jesus, or do you want to show bigotry?
I'd rather show His love...and represent him well.