Give a Gift
Industrialisation and the exploitation of resources that often goes hand-in-hand with ‘progress’ has led to some big problems in the world. But I still generally find myself very much in agreement with the sentiment that:
“Isn’t technology wonderful?”
One of the biggest technological developments of the past twenty-five years has been the explosion in our access to electronic communication. The ability for almost all of us to communicate instantly and widely has radically changed the world. During the pandemic, this has allowed me to keep in contact with friends, family and church, and for that I will always remain hugely grateful. But as in many things, there are two sides to the same coin. The fact that you now have the potential to instantly impact on literally millions of people after a few seconds thought and with a simple tap on the ‘send’ button can be dangerous as well as liberating. It’s just as quick and easy to criticise or put people down as it is to send encouragement and positive comments. A recent issue involving friends of mine really brought this home to me. Widespread expressions of judgement, outrage and anger came very quickly to the fore. These negative feelings seem to be just below our surface, ready to spurt forth given the slightest pretext.
It seems that human nature was pretty much the same two thousand years ago. In Ephesians and Paul’s other letters to the churches, the importance of maintaining unity and good relations in the church is clear. Paul describes (Ephesians 4:29) how they should communicate with each other as Christians:
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift”. (The Message).
Now, let’s think on the strength of that apparently simple phrase: “each word a gift”. I associate a gift with thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity. Perhaps also even with wisdom, knowledge and sensitivity about the intended recipient. Let’s treat our words as gifts, and fill them with these same qualities. This is even more important now that our words can be spread so much more quickly and widely.
Why not send someone a gift today! It could be an overdue apology … a thank you … an appreciation … an indication that you have noticed something positive. It’s up to you! Make it your gift …
Heavenly Father, thank you that you have given us the gift of language. Help to use it wisely, show me who I can encourage today. Amen