Insensitive! Pastor urges Christians to avoid unnecessary chatter - The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit - Proverbs 15:4
They are staunch Christians in the church and have been married for almost a decade. It's a private issue where they have done everything to conceive and introduce a child into the union. The annual celebration of Mother's Day and Father's Day are just too much for them, so most times they sit this one out at home, enjoying each other's company.
Just when they think they are at that place where they can deal with the issue of their childless union, they are put under pressure at their church with brethren asking questions such as, 'What are you waiting for to have a child?' Or making comments such as 'Time for the little one now'.
The above scenario, unfortunately, is not fictitious. More often than not, fellow Christians, through insensitive comments time and time again, have driven wedges in their dealings with others.
There are some, in their overzealousness for the gospel, who introduce the subject of salvation at the most inopportune times. One woman will no longer have anything to do with church as in the midst of dealing with the death of a loved one, a time when she needed comfort the most, a seemingly well-meaning Christian told her she still had a chance to make it right by accepting Christ as her Saviour, as her loved one died without doing so.
Family and Religion reached out to Apostle Glory Ighurhe, founder and president of Glory Oghendoro International Ministries, and Pastor Valrie James of the Savannah Cross Church of God of Prophecy, regarding the issue.
Responding to the unnecessary pressure placed on couples by inquisitive Christians, James said that they would do well to heed the numerous warnings in the book of Proverbs regarding unnecessary chatter - and in her view, that's exactly what it is.
"Comments like those do nothing to encourage anyone. In fact, it's more getting into their business than anything else," she said.
James said that there are many other ways Christians prove to be insensitive and lacking in understanding of their fellowman's feelings, where instead of trying to comfort, they actually end up making the situation worse.
"Married ones tend to pressure those who have not yet found their life's partner, even implying that 'being too picky' could be the reason for their single state."
The repercussions from this kind of scenario, suggested James, could lead to the persons in question settling and paying for those hasty decisions.
"Christians are called to be compassionate, intuitive, and to empathise. If they were doing that, then there would be nothing to be concerned about regarding crushing others' feelings," she said.
Apostle Ighurhe, who responded to those who take it upon themselves to assume the status of a person's soul at the time of death, said that those who make the assumption that persons souls are lost because they never publicly confess Christ as their saviour should not be quick to judge and condemn people because we don't know their last words most times before they pass away.
"Like the example of Jesus and the two thieves that were crucified with Him on the cross, one of them was able to use his last words to get into heaven even in his dying state. Yes, he may not have openly confessed Jesus before you or people, but we don't know what he said before his death," he said.
The Bible further advises that, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that he may know how he ought to answer everyone," he said, stressing that occasions like the one described above are not statements that are seasoned with grace, as the Bible admonishes us.
"That is not the right time and right atmosphere to voice such a statement. The Bible says '... a word spoken in due season how good is it' (Proverbs 15:23). So that person is just being overzealous and, at the same time, being insensitive."