As soon as it begins to look anything remotely like summertime, or even early spring, you begin to see them. Ads. Everywhere. But these ads aren’t necessarily trying to sell you a product. They’re trying to sell you the idea that you, or those whom you love, aren’t enough. We’ve all seen the summer ads that endlessly remind us to watch what we eat. Most are directed at women, reminding them to get their “bikini body” ready. The messages all carry the same message: that anyone who doesn’t conform to this standard of beauty is wrong or lacking.
Those ads influence our minds and hearts, too, and change how we think and speak about others. Criticisms come too easily and barbed words or thoughts wound. Is it any wonder that in The Small Catechism, Luther wrote that we are to come to the defence of our neighbour and always speak well of them? (The Eighth Commandment)
It’s time to put out tongues on a diet and stop feeding ourselves the messages that we’re being inundated with. Take some time, remember that eighth commandment and offer kindness and encouragement instead of criticism or barbs.
God of compassion, help us to bind our tongues and use our words to bless and build up your children. Amen. — MHM