This morning I woke up thinking about all the things we say and do that hurt one another. One episode of Sid the Science kid (my nephews favorite cartoon) reminded me of my grandmothers saying "that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me". I used to agree with Sid and my Grandma when I was younger but as an Adult, African American Christian male I know the statement is false. Words do hurt, sometimes even more than sticks and stones! Words can be filled with hate, and used to control others emotionally, mentally and socially. Words can lower self esteem and be used as a form of abuse. Therefore as Christians we in the words of recording artist T.I. need to WATCH WHAT WE SAY! Let's look to scripture for clarification:
James 3 (Message)
When You Open Your Mouth
1 -2Don't be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you'd have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.
3 -5A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
5 -6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
7 -10This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue—it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
10 -12My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
As James reminds us, we all will mess up and trip up. I know that you get upset and want to tell people off or give them a piece of your mind. However Friends I encourage you to Watch what you say, today speak nothing but love & life! Remember words do cause pain.
Loving God help us to speak life, and love to all despite how they come at us, enable us to watch what we say as we represent you. Amen.
Be Well, Love P.J.