It is so easy to rip on politicians.  Do you remember the joke, ‘You know how you can tell when a politician is lying?; His lips are moving.’  I love it.   Here is the crazy thing.  You are much more of a politician than you are willing to admit.  I am much more of a politician than I would like to admit.

Psalm 12 deals with human speech, it deals with human speech on the lips of politicians.  In the first four verses, David describes the politicians of his day.  He says that:

  1. They are all around him (1)
  2. They lie (2); the word translated lie has the sense of vanity or emptiness.  So David is saying, they speak fine sounding arguments without substance.  Their speech is kind of like soda or potato chips.  Taste great, but no nutritional value.
  3. They employ flattery (2); this goes beyond lying because it adds the element of an evil or corrupt motive.  The goal in flattery is to manipulate the hearer rather than communicate with her.
  4. They use double-speak (2); in other words, they use a word that means one thing to advance something that is the exact opposite.  Think about the misuse of language that abortion rights advocates use to legitimize abortion (surgical procedure instead of abortion; pro-women’s reproductive rights/pro-choice instead of pro-abortion)
  5. They boast (3-4)
  6. They are in power because of their use of this kind of speech (4-5)

Sounds like Washington, D.C., right?  Sounds like Senator ________ or Representative__________, etc., right?  True, but it also sounds like me…and you.

Let me challenge you to consider two things in determining if a politician lives in your heart.

First, what words to you use to describe someone to a friend or co-worker?  Especially if you don’t like that someone.

Second, how do you describe your situation when you really want something?  Do you use manipulation (through lies, flattery, double-speak, half-truths)?

How should we respond to our secret lives as politicians?

First, trust in the pure, trustworthy words of God, i.e. the Bible (5-6)

Second, ask yourself this question: Are the words I am using intended to edify (build-up) or tear-down the person I am talking about/to? (Ephesians 4:20-32)

Advertisements