IN EVERY ENCOUNTER
WE EITHER GIVE LIFE
OR WE DRAIN IT;
THERE IS NO NEUTRAL EXCHANGE
Words are a powerful motivator. The apostle James describes the tongue as the following, “..a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the toungue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell…..Therewith bless we God, even the father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similtude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
-James 3:6 & 9-10
In essence, our words have the power to either give life, or take it away. I confess, I too struggle with the desire to be the wittiest guy in the group, but is that right? No. That is a desire based completely off of pride and selfishness, two attitudes which God detests. When we jest, tease, cap, slam, however you wish to call it, we are hurting another person with our words. No matter what way we justify it, it is still wrong. Even if the recipient slaps a “I-don’t-care” expression on their face or even laughs at what you have said, deep inside there is a hurt they are trying to hide. A hurt you have just caused. Why would we deliberately try to go around hurting others? A sobering thought is this. Your words can never ever be taken back. No matter how much you may apologize, the damage has been done and it is permanent.
As I write this, I have three fingers pointed right back at me. I have been often guilty of making a rude comment which has been sugarcoated to look like I was just kidding the person but deep down, there is a heart issue that that comment has sprung from. Often I will make a comment that has been twisted slightly and made to look like I am joking, when in reality, I am making the comment as a direct attack on a person. I have heard the saying before that every jest has a hint of truth to it. And it is true.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that all humor is wrong. There is a fine line between humor and ripping a persons self esteem up in the name of humor. This is what I would call “humors balance.” The most helpful advice I have heard is to try out a comment on yourself to see how well you would like it before using it on others. If it eats at you, It’ll eat at them.
So what am I saying here? Where am I going with this? The point is something that God has been pressing me with recently. That I need to measure my words. That I need to be careful with what I say and how I say it. Because like I said earlier, words are powerful. Jesus came to this earth to set an example for us to follow. Look at the way he lived his life. The words that he said and the way he lived paves the way for us. We must strive to live in his example.
For those of you who also struggle with this, know you are not alone. But it is something we have to come to a decision on. Are we going to continue to tear each other down in any form or will we decide to build one another up like Jesus did? The choice is yours.
“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. “