The Freedom of Speech

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes:-)

Recently, I’ve been learning a lot about words.

In my Government class, we’ve been discussing the various supreme court trials relating to the 1st and 14th Amendments, especially according to the freedom of speech.

The issue of the freedom of speech has been a hot topic the last few months. It seems as though we’re living through a significant time period where issues regarding speech are often at hand.

And not only this, but I’ve been learning a lot about words from an experience standpoint as well; whether that be hearing a foul word thrown at one of my friends in class, a nasty comment on a Facebook post from someone I know, or arguments within the home.

Words have power.

I think I should have fully understood this a long time ago, being someone who works with words all the time. Words are my tools, my weapons, my bandages. And I did understand, to a point.

But I’ve recently become painfully aware of the negative power words can have on people.

And regretfully, I struggle with using hurtful words myself. Tearing people down or getting annoyed with a sibling, gossiping or whispering an unkind joke. I think it’s a human kind of issue. Not one that can be fixed by a short blog post;-)

But I guess this morning, I felt called to remind my brothers and sisters in Christ that we can’t just say what we want, even if we think it’s true. Even if it is true.

Yes, the constitution grants freedom of speech.

But the constitution is not our ultimate authority. God’s word is. And this is what God’s word has to say:

Proverbs 11:12 ~ “Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.”

Proverbs 15:1 ~ “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 16:24 ~ “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Matthew 7:12 ~ “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

We shouldn’t say whatever we want. It’s incredible how often we think we’re right, and we’re actually wrong. I can testify to this myself. And sometimes, in those moments we truly are right, it’s not always wise to shout it from the rooftops. Even words of truth, misplaced or delivered harshly, can cause pain and resentment.

I’ve been trying to work through this struggle myself, and I invite you to join me. Obviously, I can’t fix my sinful nature. I can’t even hope to pick up the pieces of my fragmented morality. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be better.

The last few weeks, I’ve been dedicating my day to Jesus as soon as I wake up.

Sometimes I forget, but when I do remember, it not only brings me peace throughout the anxious moments of the day, but keeps me accountable. Because when I dedicate the day to Jesus, I choose to dedicate what I say in that day to Him. And I don’t want to dedicate nasty words to my savior.

Secondly, when I do mess up, it’s time for confession. For admitting I messed up, admitting I need Jesus to control my tongue.

When we talk to those around us, we talk to incredible masterpieces of God’s design. Whether they agree with you on a political issue, a common sense issue, or a religious issue, we are still called to love them. And a large part of loving someone is through the words we use.

Listen to the song, “No Fear in Love” by Steffany Gretzinger (another song of hers, I know a shocker hahaha;-). This song reminds me to not just love those around me, but to overflow with compassion and adoration towards them. I’m still terrible at it, but it at least helps to correct my heart posture. Happy Saturday:)

Published by Annabelle Healy

Annabelle Healy is 17 and loves to write fantasy novels mostly because high school AP classes and homecoming dances are too stressful. Her novels have received multiple awards including a gold medal from the national Scholastic Art and Writing competitions, placing her beside award alumni such as Stephen King and Truman Capote. She is currently publishing her debut fantasy novel, Far Below Human Eyes with Morgan James Publishing.

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