The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
In the past few days, I’ve found several reasons to be thinking about “excellence in speech.” Facebook has a way of piling up a fair amount of foolish talk, political criticisms, and…well, a lot of stuff I hope people wouldn’t waste time saying in person. I’ve often wanted to remind some that just because your keyboard can type it doesn’t mean it should.
What is excellence in speech? No, it’s not the demand for proper grammar (though a bit more effort there wouldn’t hurt either). And it’s not the use of vocabulary stretching words that cause others to inflate their view of your intelligence. (Remember, if you try to talk like you don’t really talk, people may correctly conclude that you’re a bit odd.)
Excellence in speech connects with Philippians 4:8. You remember that verse don’t you?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Now, I realize this verse speaks of the kind of things we think about, but it’s usually better to speak from things you’re thinking about rather than to disconnect your thinking and speaking.
The point is to let your thoughts and your subsequent communication flow through the filter of what is good. Use words to lift up, to encourage, and to call others to righteous choices (not your particular side of the political aisle). Words have a way of lingering in the air until they bore their way into someone’s heart. Don’t throw careless ones at family and friends because you don’t know how deeply they might penetrate on impact.
Never forget that what you say says a lot more about you than you might realize. Words matter, and those that aren’t excellent paint themselves into the portrait others see of you.