"Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." -Colossians 4:6The first story I mention only because so many are talking about it. However, I must preface this by stating that I cannot verify the person's statement nor the intent with any credibility. I had thought I remembered the story being aired on Fox News by either Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly, but in the last few days, my research has come up with only a few blogs and a small article on One News Now that did not have a link to the orignal MSN piece. Megan Fox, star of Transformers, was reported to have been recently quoted by MSN in a piece entitled "The Wit and Wisdom of Megan Fox" in which she allegedly said she would barter with Megatron (a character from the movie), suggesting that he “just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?” If this was, indeed her statement, it certainly paints a picture of someone who is mean-spirited and it begs the question if folks would feel the same way (or if MSN would feel the same way about airing this piece) if the actress had taken a pot shot against homosexuals. However, I don't see main stream America lining up to defend this sentiment. In fact, what I did see were people questioning the validity of anything else to come out of her mouth. What I read, for the most part, were people (though not always in the most gracious way) who were unwilling to spend money to see her new movie. Remember that the right to freedom of speech does not negate the right of the listener to take offense and act accordingly. Remember the Dixie Chicks? How about the recent comments made by comedian and late night host, David Letterman, about Sarah Palin and her daughter? This story was all over the internet in places like Associated Press, Fox News, The LA Times and US News and World Report. Again, hardly anyone is condoning the statements and even Mr. Letterman, himself, has apologized though many may argue it's not sincere. But here's my point. God gave each of us free will and there are times when folks will choose to be evil with their mouths. Sometimes they don't mean it the way it sounded and sometimes they mean it exactly the way it sounded. Either way, instead of getting angry and lashing out, let's address the issues fairly and in grace. Let's call it wrong but let's do so with respect and in love. Why? Do you all remember the movie, Fireproof? What was Caleb asked to do when he took the Love Dare? Was he asked to treat his wife with love only when she showed love to him? No! God doesn't love us only when we are lovable. Thank God! LOL God's love is Agape Love, unconditional love. The love we are asked to show to our fellow man and, yes, even when he sins against us. What happened to Caleb's wife after she was treated with love? Yup! She began to see the merits of her husband and feel a deep love for him again. I submit to you that, if the Christian community would rise up and speak the truth in grace and in love, we would accomplish great things in the Lord! Think of each of these issues as an opportunity to discuss, instead of grievances to be made right or arguments to win. If grace is a two way street, which way came first? Mr. Letterman is no spring chicken, but may I point out that the Bible is several thousand years old. Let's share our thoughts in grace and with respect, even if the other doesn't, and see where it gets us! Go on! I double dog love dare ya! :D ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer. Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula, including Say What You Mean Defending the Faith. You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com and hosting her weekly podcast, Grace Talk Soup. For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com
A few situations arose this past week that may give you cause to wonder if grace is a two way street for Christian conservatives. Though I believe most people are respectful, even to those with whom they disagree, I do see that there are some who not only speak disrespectfully of us but who feel justified in doing so. But if you think the secular world in general endorses this behavior, you would be wrong. And what's more, I believe, there is something we Christians can do that will help us win back favor with the secular world and it's called grace.