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I like the Book of James. He doesn’t beat around the bush. Like in Chapter 3, when James is teaching us about “a small member” of our body that is “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” He is referring to our tongue, of course.
We are all guilty. I know I can hardly get through a day without saying a harsh word to or about someone. And have you ever just stopped to listen to the conversations around us – among friends and neighbors … and yes -- church members. It seems James knew us well.
Recently, I was in the Dominican Republic with John Zeller, a great Christian leader and evangelist. John heads up SCORE International, which is dedicated to bringing young people around the world to Christ through sports. One night in our hotel room, after a long day of teaching and loving on kids, we were talking about the 10 Commandments and John, as a former college coach, said that although he has never killed a person, he has, he sadly confessed, “murdered” several players with the hateful words he has spoken to them and about them.
That confession made an impact on me and I hope I have become more considerate with the words I use because of hearing that story. But I know I’m far from perfect. This Lenten season – let us do something different with our words. Let’s let our words be more about blessing others and less about “killing” them.
(Bob Silvanik is the pastor of Dry Ridge Christian Church. He can be reached at 823-1303 or by e-mail at email@example.com)