The Rocks

July 15, 2021
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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.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good advice, Lynne.


    Well said, Lynne. Your devotions are always spot on! Blessings.


    Memorable. Enviable grandkids! Thanks for the apt metaphor, Lynne.


    Great post, Lynne! A great reminder to us all!
    God bless!


    And yet another story of Godly interaction with a grandchild! We are certainly blessed to have the chance to teach them.


    Thank you. Because of your message I restrained my words of criticism of my son who finds ways to challenge and irritate his old mom.


    Good morning Lynne
    Thank you and this is so true and a good reminder before we open our mouths!!!


    Greetings, Lynne,
    What an interesting story and a good application we all need to heed.
    Thanks.


    So good!! Thank you. I’ll share with my grown kids. You bring bible teachings into our ordinary experiences in a way that makes them easy to remember. Enjoy these long summer days.


    Thank you for sharing this devotional with us. This directive came as a needed reminder to put a check on my emotions and a lock on my lips.
    Prayers appreciated. Blessings.


    Thank you, Lynne, again so good. My thoughts and prayers are with you and friends in BC and of course everyone there during this time of the high heat and wildfires, may it soon improve. Do take care: Blessings.


    Thanks for your wise words. Reading your stories makes me want to visit Atlin …but not in the winter.
    Blessings,
    (Ont)


    I have been enjoying this devotional for many years. I am always moved by your thoughts and stories. I am always pleased to hear of your experiences and deep faith. You help me along my Christian journey. Keep writing and GOD bless you.


    Thank you, Lynn,
    The trouble with the “Rocks” we have thrown is that we can’t get them back, the question is not only, what kind of person do I want to be now, but what do some people think of the rocks we threw perhaps decades ago.
    Food for thought on a good devotional.
    Blessings.


    It’s so good to read your words as I just finished dinner, and my daughter just brought me dessert. Yum!! I could have thrown many big rocks today but prayed and did what I had to do —- hand over my car keys. I will be 97 this year, and I knew this would happen anytime. But I won’t give singing in the choir nor any other activities I’m a part of.
    God bless you,
    (Ca. USA)


    Good morning Lynne Phipps:
    I so appreciate your writings. They are timely and relevant scripture to one who was raised on and worked farm chores in SW Ontario. As I read your stories, I get a sense that you are the author and am so pleased to see your name. I have received the PCC daily devotionals for years.
    Blessings.
    (BC)


    Good Morning, Lynne!
    I am reminded of the children’s song I learned so many years ago, in which one of the verses says:
    “Oh, be careful little tongue what you say.
    Oh, be careful little tongue what you say,
    For the Father up above, he is looking down with love,
    So, be careful little tongue what you say.”
    Your devotions are always so true to life, so easy to understand and remember. Thank you!
    (ON)


    Good morning Lynne,
    Many thanks for another of your very meaningful devotionals and your creative analogy of the harm of rocks and the harm our tongues can cause. Yes, the tongue can sure be the base of a number of contrasting results. It can so easily cause everlasting hurt and resentment or the other extreme of comforting understanding and real joy. We sure have to be on constant guard of how we use this unique organ that our Lord has created in our bodies.
    Blessings for reminding us of the importance of our choice of words and may you enjoy a great day.


    Oh Lynne, how amazing it is the way God helps us! I’m up and at my Bible/prayer table earlier than usual because of my need for the Lord’s help in my relationship with my sister; and with the prayer needed for a dear neighbour. Trying to sort out the various concepts – loving; shaking off the dust; healing; justification ; repentance. Trying to place each one in its proper order, without judging or withdrawing or overreacting. It is sometimes a great tangled mess that only our Lord is capable of untangling and organizing in our hearts and minds. May He be truly LORD of my life and not just my hiding place; and may I serve Him in Truth and not only in my human error riddled love that justifies instead of offering healing through correction. There’s a time for silence … there’s also a time to correct. May He fill us/me with wisdom to get it right. Bless you for your reflections and your very gentle wisdom and insight.


    Thank you for this timely and encouraging devotional. Thank you for reminding me of verses from Proverbs. Blessings on you for sharing your faith and practical Christianity.
    (Ontario)


    Dear Lynne,
    This is the second message in 2 days that has been about watching my words. I guess I need to hear this. Also, my granddaughter told me when she called that I sounded crabby the other day. I don’t think my words were bad but how I delivered them must have been poor. I was tired from the humidity we are having, and I guess it was showing in my presentation. Something I need to think about. I know if I force a smile onto my face when I talk that my tone changes.
    It is so interesting what children find interesting to do and what attracts their attention. I am glad that you are having spring weather and enjoying it. Good luck with your repairs. Blessings.


    Oh, ouch! Wish I’d read this yesterday before I let myself explode from frustration. I apologized immediately, but the damage was done. Today I’m mortified by my words and pray for patience. Really identify with St. Paul’s exclamation about the thing we want to do and don’t and the thing we don’t want to do and do. Blessings.

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