Reflection: James is so right. It should not be!
My awakening came in the form of an epiphany from God. Walking to the train down LaTrobe St in Melbourne’s CBD after work one day, I was suddenly struck by the harm my so-called ‘cleverness’ was senselessly causing. What was I doing? How was I representing Christ in the workplace? Who was I trying to impress? What damage was I unwittingly on others? I stopped.
Not to say I haven’t slipped up over the years and said things that have hurt others. Of course, I have! We all inflict harm with our words. But I have totally lost the art of the witty repartee that comes at another’s expense.
I have also learned to apologise for the hurt I have caused if it has been brought to my attention.
But why does it matter?
Because as James says, words stick. They have the power to unleash great harm and great good.
Question: Can you think of an occasion when you spoke with the deliberate intent to cause hurt? Have you sought forgiveness from the recipient of your ‘cursing’ tongue?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me. Help me to speak words of love, gratitude and encouragement to my loved ones, my colleagues, my friends, strangers in the street. I want this because you want this of me.