Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sticks and Stones

O God, listen to my complaint. Do not let my enemies' threats overwhelm me. Protect me from the plots of the wicked, from the scheming of those who do evil. Sharp tongues are the swords they wield, bitter words are the arrows they aim. They shoot from ambush at the innocent, attacking suddenly and fearlessly. They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps. “Who will ever notice?” They ask. As they plot their crimes, they say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Yes, the human heart and mind are cunning. But God himself will shoot them down. Suddenly, his arrows will pierce them. Their own words will be turned against them, destroying them. All who see it happening will shake their heads in scorn. Then everyone will stand in awe, proclaiming the mighty acts of God, realizing all the amazing things he does. Psalm 64:1-9 NLT

Their swords are their sharp tongues and their arrows are bitter words. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?

If only that were true!

How have other people hurt you with what they have said? I can focus on one negative complaint about me even in the midst of 20 compliments.

But I know that I am not alone. This is because I, too, have said things that hurt other people. One of the regrets of my life is what I said over the phone to my good friend when I was between college and the real world. She and her boyfriend had gone and gotten married (a simple ceremony with just close family). She then called my house to see if I would come over to help them celebrate. I had been doing something for my parents and had yet to take a shower. I gave some flimsy excuse and never heard from her again. I even tried years later and wrote a letter to apologize. I still never heard from her. As you can tell, this regret is still something I think about from time to time. I never meant to hurt her but my words were like swords and arrows.

When have you said something you later regretted? Have you been able to apologize or make up with that person? How can you avoid this in the future?

God, help me to stop saying things that hurt others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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