“You’re a goonus.”
“Oh, yeah? Well you’re a nincompoop!”
“No. You are!”
These are the backbiting words of my four-and-six-year-old boys, arguing over who gets to be the main character in their favorite cartoon. It’s a big deal. Obviously.
As I head over to break up the brawl, I can’t help but stifle a laugh as I listen to these boys dig deeply into their bag of insults to throw at one another. If the worst thing I get called is a goonus, I’ll count that as a good day. Unfortunately, as we grow older, the arsenal of insults is transformed from seemingly innocent words into daggers that cut and scar our intended target.
Whoever coined the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” must have been the tin man in search of his heart, because those of us who do have hearts know that words can lift our spirits or tear us down. Our words do not just drop off into thin air once they leave our mouths. They penetrate the mind and spirit of the receiver.
Gun instructors say, “Never point a gun at something you do not intend to shoot.” What would happen if we looked at our words like a loaded gun? Would we be more hesitant to fire that insult, knowing that, much like a loaded gun, our words can deeply wound or possibly kill?
Fortunately, our words do not physically harm like a gun, but they do affect others spiritually—and that goes deeper than we know.
Will there be times when we fail to speak love? Yes. Should we fester in guilt for failing? No. God did not create us to be perfect. We are not meant to be almighty. But take heart. We have a God who helps us. This life is about recognizing our dependency on God in all things, including the small muscle that packs a big punch.
When you feel as if you are about to lose control, run to the One who is in control.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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