In my quiet time this morning I was contemplating what our responsibility is towards others in what we say, do, and write about. As writers we can choose to write about anything and everything under the sun. But how many of us truly look at the possible ramifications of what it is we choose to write about? We can choose to write about meaningless thoughts that come to mind. We can write about destruction, we can put someone or some group down, exposing thoughts or feelings we might have toward them. We can choose to write about current events or gossip. We can write books to assist people in empowering themselves, or we can choose to write about positive, inspiring things that fill people with hope and life.
So what are the ramifications of the written word? Or for that matter of words in general?
Have you ever been in a situation where someone lied about something you did or blamed you for something you did not do? What about in a situation where someone said something to you that caused you to doubt yourself? Have you read a scary novel and experienced fear afterward? Or for that matter read about an earthquake or war? Have you ever had someone sincerely compliment you or help you do something that gave you a sense that they really cared for you? How does it make you feel to read about someone with impossible circumstances overcoming all odds?
So, do we have a responsibility for what we say? On paper or out of our mouths? I think we do. Personally, I want to be one of those people who feed others good, life-giving words. I want to be responsible for positive change in a person’s life. I’m more concerned with helping people out of the hole they are stuck in than with being popular, because let me tell you, you will have a bigger audience with putting the destruction and gossip out there. But what kind of audience to you really want to draw?
I believe that to walk in truly healthy lives we need to consider how we are treating others, and how that affects their health as well as creating a well-rounded health in our own lives. Yes, we all have our own free will. We all have freedom of speech, but that does not negate our responsibility to be good stewards of those words. One day we will all answer for what we do or do not do. I choose life. What about you?
A really wonderful book that helped me understand the importance of honoring others is Culture of Honor: Sustaining a Supernatural Environment
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
- “Wise Warriors” (chaplainofpop.wordpress.com)