Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Be Careful Little Tongue

Words flow readily for most of us. Even the most shy will typically have an arena which affords them enough comfort to hang themselves. After all, the scripture guarantees that where there is a multitude of words, sin is not lacking. It is inevitable.

Home is usually an arena where we let down our guard. Or perhaps a close circle of friends affords us freedom to "be ourselves". We laugh loudly, quip saucy responses readily, contrive jokes laces with sarcasm. Or if our mood is worse, we grump at the little one or the big one or the one who happened to be in our way. Or we complain about the choice made by a sibling, or loudly point out the forgotten phone call they didn't make but should have, or soundly and roundly criticize the announcer on TV or some friend's parents or the new kid on the block -- and on and on.

Words can damage, even when we don't intend them to. Next thing you know, those parents of that friend are belittled in the eyes of someone listening who is currently struggling with their own parents for similar issues. You just put one more hurdle in their lane. Or that younger sister, who has issues of her own with that older sibling, has just heard one more claim against them. The devil, who loves division, adds one more accusation to the litany that resounds in her mind. The battle just increased. Maybe we made fun of a haircut, a nationality, someone's weight or fashion, their use of words or lack of schooling. Meanwhile, the new friend across the room has a favorite sister who wears the same clothes, or they have a weight problem of their own. Maybe their dad talks that same way and has just as little education. Now what have you done.

If we want to be peacemakers as the Bible suggests, we need to guard our words, our laughs, our complaints, and our chuckles. Would that inconsiderate word have been withheld if you had known the harm it would cause in the months and even years to come? Did your snicker wound deeply, leaving a hurt of insecurity and painful doubt? Did you stop to think how your expressed thought might be received by the hearer -- what might he think lies behind the smile, the cynical comment, the funny joke, the cross frown?

We do need to take more care, have more thought of consequence, be more considerate of the feelings of others listening, even if they are in the background. Words, like arrows, find a destination. When shot into the air freely, they will land somewhere, piercing and causing damage.

Please, stop, think, and even listen to the sound of those words forming in your mind before you release them to reach the ears, minds, and souls of others.


Blogger Keila said...

Ouch! What a timely reminder of the care we need to have in loving others. How often we forget that we also express our love in the care we have in what we say and we are careful not to say!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh, this is depressing news. It's like, you have to be mute just to behave. Just when I was hoping to find a "place in this world" (so to speak) I'm once again backed up into a corner on account of who I am, and the loud temperment I was "blessed" to be born with. Ugh.

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