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Civility #8—Civil Praise

I am not ashamed of the gospel because the power of God to save is available to everyone, regardless of ethnic or cultural background. Romans 1:16

Yahweh, place a guard on my mouth! Protect the opening of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to evil speech as a way to participate in sinful activities. Psalm 141:4

God Most High, Creator of the earth and sea and sky, Father of all people, as your offspring we revel in your unifying creativity, we rejoice in your diversifying ingenuity. We are amazed that you made us alike in that each of us represents you—for better or worse—to all of our contemporaries around the globe. And we are mystified by how difficult it is for us to speak to one another as if to an ambassador of the King. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we own the good news that your power to save is available to everyone, regardless of their ethnic or civil affiliations. Because his death propitiated your anger, we can lovingly and graciously extend the offer of reconciliation with you across cultural boundaries. Whatever disagreements we may have with another person, the certainty of your gracious kindness enables us to be patient as we engage in conversation. Knowing that your loving compassion reaches beyond the narrow confines of our parochialism, we can pause and ponder how you are involved in the lives of everyone around us. We are glad that though you work in each of us differently, you can, and do, guard our mouths so that we do not lean into evil speech which would embarrass you or make our representation of you ineffective.


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