October 22, 2010

Words and integrity

I've written here about the use of words and our responsibility to use them appropriately in the past.  Here's a word to consider; integrity.  Webster defines integrity as an unimpaired condition; firm adherence to a code, esp. moral or artistic values; incorruptibility; the quality or state of being complete or undivided.  syn: honesty.

Psalms 26:1-2 reads: "Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity; I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. I have walked in thy truth."

Prov. 11:3 says: "The integrity of the upright shall guide them."

2 Cor. 8:21: "Providing in honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."

The point of all this is to say that the use of words from our mouth or our pen (or keyboard) hold a responsibility to God and to our fellow man.  No matter how elevated an opinion we have of ourselves and our station in life, or the career we strive for, we still have that responsibility.  Perhaps those who influence the most people have even more responsibility to use words carefully.  As musicians, authors, and speakers the words we use show a deeper understanding of our hearts and our worldview.  As a result, the words we use, the subjects we discuss, the issues we raise are a true picture of what's inside us. The core of our heart's condition.

Point made and following up with the knowledge that as sinners, we'll be sure to make mistakes, use a colorful metaphor here and there, or laugh at a risque joke if we think no one is watching.  But don't use the excuse that you have some special privilege to do so because you are an artist of one sort or another.  We are not at the mercy of the world to allow them to dictate what subjects we will discuss or how low we'll stoop to grasp their attention by the use of offensive or misleading language.  That's what the world says, is that who you represent?

2 thoughts about my meanderings:

Isaiah English said...

True enough, but I'd hardly call a colorful metaphor wrong or sinful. God loves beauty and variety as we can see all around us, surely He is pleased when we use that same beauty and variety in our language. Jesus Himself often used hyperbolic language to make His points. He avoided some words that had misleading cultural connotations (like Messiah), and used other words in order to shock people. Jesus used incredibly offensive language to the Jews in order to get their attention, so I think we need to be careful what we blanket as sin.
Thanks for the reminder about integrity, let's just try not to put our own rules up beyond God's.

In love,
Isaiah

wanderer said...

I had no intention of putting my own rules before God's which is why I noted scripture in my post. We may need to be careful about how quick we are to judge. My use of the term "colorful metaphors" came from a reference to a movie quote which everyone may not be familiar with so it was badly done. What I meant by that was the use of cursing, swearing or blasphemous words, not colorful comparisons and exaggerations which, by all means, are a part of our beautiful language. But there is also an ugly side to language that isn't appropriate for use, especially by Christians. Another part of the beauty of our language is that there are so many words that we can nearly always find a way to make our point without resorting to words that may be a stumbling block to those who hear or read what we have to say. Thank you for your comment. It brought my error to my attention so that I could clarify my meaning for those who misunderstood it. God Bless.

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