Friday, January 31, 2014
Words can cause as much violence as physical acts against a person. Listening to Jennifer Livingston share on today’s Daily Spark about the harassment she received in a recent e-mail, brings to mind all the various ways in which one person cruelly harms another with words.
“Fools names like fools faces always seen in public places.” “Sticks and stones could break your bones, but names will never hurt you.” “Stupid, even your much younger brother knows the answer to that question.” These words are dredged up from my 1940’s-’50’s past. Lessons were often taught to children by maxims. And when that didn’t work, sometimes direct verbal attacks were used.
Today, these kinds of things continue with parents yelling at their offspring to “Shut up!” “You can’t have that, it makes you fat!” “Get going, you lazy lump!” Or asking: “Why can’t you be like….?”
Then there are the social media put downs as young people inflict emotional and psychological pain on one another in e-mails, tweets on twitter, facebook, etc. Under attack, the outcasts either turn on themselves in anger or lash out in bullying others.
There is One whose words always bring life and health…even when those words must confront our wrong doing…The correction never comes at us in a ripping apart of our personalities. After Jesus honestly speaks the truth about our attitudes, thinking and actions, He says, “Neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin.”