James 3:8-12 – But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring can yield both salt water and fresh. (NKJV)
When I was out for my walk today, I suddenly remembered that the last time I went down that street, there was a dog that had tried to attack my dog. He followed us and repeatedly snapped at my dog. I was trying to control my puppy and at the same time keep her off the busy road. I had unkind thoughts towards the owner who had not penned up his dog. Today, I got out my water bottle and prepared for the worst as I walked along. I would squirt the dog in the face if he tried that same stunt again. Suddenly, though, I wished that I had brought dog biscuits with me. That would have been a more positive approach to the whole problem — to create a friend — better than fighting mean with mean.
Then I began to think about how we treat offensive people. Should we speak harshly in return? In my own family, I notice that if someone is mean, and a mean retort is shot back, the dialogue gets more and more negative. Wouldn't it be better to first offer a positive comment, rather than barking back at someone who has hurt us? It is hard not to react, but with God helping us, we can be positive people in a negative world. We can make a difference. Let us think about saying something positive the next time someone puts us down. The results are positively amazing!
Prayer: Thank you Lord, for putting us into a world where we can make a difference. Forgive us, though, Lord, when we do react and say the wrong thing. Help us the next time to say something positive, or better yet, to admit that we were wrong, and to say that we are sorry. Help us to be strong to overcome our sinful nature that responds to mean with mean. Forgive us when we do so, for we are not doing your will. We love you, Lord, and want to do everything in your likeness. Thank you, Lord, for loving us, no matter what we say or do. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.