We no longer say BC (Before Christ) or AD (anno Domini- in the year of our Lord) in school. We call it Before Common Era, and, Common Era. We talk about Jesus and Socrates as though they’re basically the same person (‘person’), which could be a literal quote from on instructor. We discuss choice as the proper term since free will is a noble lie, a myth, which yet again I could quote directly from an instructor. And, aside from the elections, there is no topic that comes up as often as the man who wouldn’t drive the rainbow bus, and not ever once is it in in a good way. Still.

But seriously. I just read yet another article about his growing fame since he’s now part of a political party running in this year’s election where he talks mostly about freedom and the right to hunt bears. Misleading as it may be, I won’t be talking about this sensationalist man of faith, or school today. However, I think it is due time to address a concept that scripture has played over and over in my mind as of late.

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

If you’ve ever watched Father of Lights, you’ll know the scene where the director Darren Wilson takes to Venice Beach to talk to the people who are carrying signs that tell people they’re going to hell. He speaks to the camera, perhaps directly to me, when he says he struggled with people who yell on corners about fornicators so much because he didn’t agree their method of reaching people was loving. I let my head nod back and forth and thought to myself rather boldly, P-R-E-A-C-H. He then realized, he was in fact judging these sign holders as much as these sign holders were judging the people they didn’t even know.

It hit me hard.

See, I think I’d looked at my words as though they were important, not idle, thoughtless or careless. In fact, I cared deeply about my words. But maybe, just maybe that was the problem. I cared too much about my words rather than using the wisdom from God’s word.

After hearing the account of Wilson’s experience and new understanding of his own intentions, I was able to see I too had simply been judging. I’d been judging the fired driver turned politician. I’d judged the instructors. I’d judged the system. And instead of morphing the judgement into love, I let it just fester there instead.

Proverbs 18.21 says we’ve got the power of life and death in the tongue. I wonder a bit further to myself if the power of life and death first start in the mind, and travel to the heart. Because there, out of the heart, the good and the evil rise up and out of the mouth, the heart speaks.

I guess all this is to say our world is crazy. As a student once again, I see this more and more. In fact, standing up for free will, I’ve already been labeled narrow minded, publicly, by an instructor, in front of the class. And, as a student of God’s word, I’m learning all over again how to speak well, without idle words by God’s standard rather than mine.

But we’ve been warned about all the craziness we’ll see, and experience. And our response? It isn’t to argue, to battle, or speak words to people who aren’t in the space to understand them. I don’t regret saying out loud that I believe in free will, but I chose the topic and the time by discernment, and then, I didn’t argue.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3.15

Love each other. Love each other genuinely from the heart. Love each other well, and know your words, whether you think they’re important or idle, speak life. Or, they speak death.

I’m not talking about the sensationalist man of faith. I’m not talking about the weakening of Christianity in our education systems. And I’m not talking about cowering in a hole because the gap is widening. I’m not talking about these because my heart and mind have considered something idle to be important, and I need to look at my intentions instead. Though I might get it right a sliver of the time, I eff it up pretty good most times. Today I’ve got to check my mind, my thoughts, because those are making their way to reside in my heart. And out of the heart…