If you really want to get people’s blood boiling (this time of year especially) just mention the word politics. It’s fun just to see the various reactions. Some people just start spewing word vomit and others just clam up really quick. And one of my favorite things is to bring up the topic of political correctness. For some reason this really gets some people agitated. Oh and these are definitely topics to bring up if you want to avoid invitations to future parties and events you would rather avoid.
But honestly, I sometimes think we as the church judge political correctness a bit too harshly. After all, the goal of PC language/behavior is intended to be socially conscious of the person/persons we are encountering or speaking about. If you ask me, we could all use a bit of this in the way we approach people. In fact according to Galatians 5:22-23 this could be one of the Fruits of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gentleness is one of those Fruits that is often overlooked because we feel like the presence of God in our life and the knowledge of his revelation entitles us to be the moral policemen of the world. And why should we be gentle when we have to police all this evil around us. After all, Jesus was always brutal with those people he encountered outside the religious establishment…oh wait. It was the people inside the religious establishment that He had the issue with.The one’s whose language and moral burden that they placed upon others was anything but gentle.
So often we feel like it is our duty to call a spade, a spade. But is this really the best way to impact people for the kingdom. Shouldn’t we instead be sensitive to the presence and forgiving potential of the Spirit of God inside everyone we encounter? In his essay, The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis puts it this way, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations-these are mortal, and there life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit…” I think we forget this so often when we get on a moral/political bandwagon that we don’t even think about the body count we leave in our wake. It’s easy to say “love the sinner and hate the sin”, but how well do we practice it? Is our language really characterized by gentleness and sensitivity towards the immortal being it is directed at or do we not even think about how our words might affect them?
So maybe we as the church could use a little more “politically correct” language. Not to align ourselves with a particular political “agenda”, but rather to express to people outside our Christians circles that we are sensitive to who they are as a immortal creation of a loving and compassionate God who is desperately in love with them. I think we could all do with a little more language like that.