Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Holy Spirit Hear Us"1 (Lyrics)
Outside, finally enjoying the spring weather, my family and I were standing by the greenhouse, discussing repairs that needed completing.
As we were chatting, a resounding metallic thunk split the air. We all knew immediately what it was. My four-year-old granddaughter was throwing rocks against the new oil tank, waiting to be installed.
Her father bellowed at her to stop, which resulted in a four-year-old's meltdown. To her, throwing rocks at something which produced such a gratifying sound was the height of pleasure and entertainment. To be reprimanded for doing something that she thought was not hurting anything, ended up hurting her feelings.
Taking a moment to put my arm around her shoulder and explain the danger of throwing rocks against something metal, as they could rebound and hit her right back, as well as the damage that she could do to the tank, soon set things right again. She wandered off to throw stones in a large puddle, which was very acceptable to everyone.
This little drama brought to my mind the rocks that we sometimes take delight in throwing — rocks in the form of words to or about people with whom we are not pleased for one reason or another. We may disagree with their political or moral views. We may be angry and hurt by things that they have done or said to us. We might just be in one of those moods when whatever anyone is doing is simply getting on the one nerve that we have left that day.
Whatever the case, these word rocks are damaging — damaging to ourselves, and damaging to others if we have said it to their face, or if word gets back to them about what we have been saying.
Proverbs 12:18 – Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (NIV)
Proverbs 21:23 – He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. (NIV)
So today, if you find yourself in the mood for rock throwing, or catch yourself in the act in regard to your words, stop and ask yourself this question:
What kind of person do I want to be, and to be known to be, to others: one who causes calamity and trouble to myself and others through my words that pierce like a sword, or a wise person, whose words bring healing?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the gift of our tongues, a gift that we can use to bring blessing and healing to others. Through the power of Your Spirit within us, may each of us choose today to be wise in any and all situations when it comes using our words. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.