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Word are Important

“Be quick to listen, slow to speak…”
James 1:19

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This old phrase is supposed to remind us that words don’t have any power over us and can’t cause us physical damage. Yet, as we know, our words are extremely important and do have the power to either build people up or tear them down.

Nine years ago, while riding my bicycle, I was struck by a car and sustained several broken bones. However, after fully recovering from my injuries I can now barely remember the physical pain I experienced. Yet, to this very day, I can still recall the cruel words of a classmate spoken to me—all the way back in the first grade! 

The truth is words can do much more damage than the sharpest stick or biggest stone. I imagine that many of us don’t have to think too far back to remember the last time we were on the receiving end of someone’s harsh words.

In the letter of James, we are remined to “be quick to listen, slow to speak.” James seemed to recognize and understand that the way we communicate with others through our words is extremely important. These includes words shared by texting, tweeting, messaging, emailing or posting on social media.

Can you imagine how different our homes, schools and work places would be if we all spent more time listening and speaking kindly to each other? Can you imagine how different our city, nation and world would be if we chose to treat every single person as a miracle created in God’s own image?

Today, with God’s grace, before we say, text, tweet, message or post anything, may we always be quick to listen and slow to speak.
The Rev. Chad T. Martin
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