Our three churches received a certificate from the Taunton Food Bank; it was our ‘one ton certificate’, and in fact we have apparently given nearly one and a half tons of food to the bank over the past few years. Amazing – and just one example of how churches and others are together bringing practical and substantial help across the area.
This is something to feel good about, and we should be more vocal, more proud of what the church is doing; let’s ‘talk up’ the church and put in a few good words for what it does at local and national level.
What we say in everyday conversation has great power, and it can build up or cast down. We can choose to speak well of the church and maybe thus change the way it’s perceived, and we can encourage and affirm other people or wound their hearts and bring them right down. In the Bible, the letter of James says, ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’.
How easy we find it to be rude and hurtful in speech! Christians particularly are to be different – James again says, ‘If anyone considers themselves to be religious and yet doesn’t keep a tight rein on their tongue, they deceive themselves and their religion is worthless’. Strong stuff.
As well as sharing each other’s burdens, we can use our words for good and not harm, by talking up the church and by speaking well of people both to their face and when they’re not there. When we catch ourselves about to make a comment, maybe first we ask ourselves is it loving, is it truthful and is it necessary?
We like to talk, so let our talk be sweet and not sour, and let’s seize opportunities to talk up the church where it’s doing well, and talk up one another.
The Revd Dr Michael Hayes
Creech, Ruishton, Thornfalcon Parish Churches