(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
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Choosing Beautiful Words Part 1
By Selma Komisky
“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”
– James 3:8-9 (NKJV)
You’ve heard the old children’s saying: “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But hearing that is so contrary to the truth. In observing small children interact with one another now and then I’d see an honoree child stick his tongue out at another child. Honestly, how does that child know to use his tongue as little weapon to hurt others?
Our tongue is a small fleshly culprit that can in one minute be delightful or destructive and we adults aren’t too different from the kids, using our tongue for good or for evil. The only thing is that children can get away with saying the funniest things or being blatantly honest.
I’ll never forget this story a grandma shared. Her grandchild came to see her, he climbs onto her lap, gets comfy and cuddled in her rocking chair when he abruptly turns and looks at her and says, “grandma you got a mustache!” Catching the grandma off guard, she chuckled and thought that was so funny. It’s cute when kids do it but not so appropriate for an adult to say something like that (lol).
Once at a store, a woman in her late sixties was shopping with an eight-year-old boy. The salesgirl told the boy to tell “his grandma,’’ that certain items were on sale. The boy quickly replies loudly, “that’s my mom!” The salesgirl remained speechless and the the mom ignored the comment and continued shopping.
Another time, a perfect stranger tried making small talk with a woman as she waited in the buffet line. She then asked the woman, “so how many months are you?” The woman graciously replied, “I’m not pregnant,” (ouch!)
There’s that darn little force at work again.
Lesson one: Speaking without thinking – be tactful and don’t assume
Let’s move onto another story. A friend told me she remembered going to her doctor’s office, when the secretary, a talebearer, decided to give her an ear full about her doctor. Revealing his personal information outside of his professional life, she was disturbed by all that she heard because it made her feel so uncomfortable. She never addressed the doctor concerning his secretary but here’s a perfect example of that conniving little instrument up to his old tricks spreading rumors.
Lesson two: Don’t be gossiping behind other people’s backs – words can be used to edify or tear down
A older woman once told me she drove to a gas station, moving slowly, she was finishing pumping gas when an impatient teen honks, and yells “get out of the way, you old B–.” The elderly woman calmly got back into her car turned to the girl and said, “God bless you have a nice day,” and drove away, meanwhile the angry girl continued shouting obscenities at her.
People lack self control and have no respect for one another anymore, so beware of that ruthless little fire that doesn’t care who gets burnt.
Lesson three: Refrain from using foul, dirty language to hurt others – it doesn’t make you sound cool, it makes you sound foolish
We’ve all have heard stories about cruel words and how it’s affected a person’s life. It’s painful when words are exchanged that can’t be taken back but even more hurtful when it’s coming from your own loved ones. Horrible words that so easily roll off our tongues label and wound deeply, sometimes scarring for life. Some examples are, “you’re stupid,” “you’re lazy,” “I hate you,” You’ll never amount to anything,” “I never loved you,” “you’re not welcome here,” “you’re ugly.”
Our tongue can be such a small, deadly bite filled with venom.
Lesson four: Know when to speak and when to hold your tongue – have self control
Now that we have become more aware of our words, we can ask God to help us guard that little instrument known as the tongue. Remember, it can be used for blessing or cursing, so choose wisely and speak life.