Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Last week I was weeding my back patio when I felt a burning sensation on my hand. I looked down to see one of my arch enemies, a tiny tiny reddish colored ant. As he was injecting his venom into my hand I could immediately feel my hand start to tingle and swell.
These little critters don't send me reaching for my epi-pen or grabbing the car keys so I can get to the hospital like the fire ant or bee stings, but they do their own brand of damage.
Brushing him off me, I headed inside leaving my project undone.
Once inside I went into my routine, make a paste with oatmeal and water to place on the bite area and grab two benadryl. Knowing the benadryl will "knock me out" I make sure I have the oatmeal paste on the bite and a cloth draped over the oatmeal in case it dries and starts to flake off before I lay down for a nap. Benadryl makes me so sleepy I know not to do anything but lay down after swallowing the little pink and white pills.
For the next few days the area is red and puffy, with a little white hard bump like a pimple and it itches like crazy. When I can't stand it any longer I take the tweezers, doing a mini surgery on myself, I open it up to get to the root of the bite and scratch. Not very adult of me but it feels so good when I'm scratching the area. Then I have to put an antibiotic cream on it because I've opened the wound area again and could cause more damage. I have little scars on my feet from previous battles with the dreaded little creatures.
This time while I was going through my ant bite routine I thought about how tiny this particular ant is and how much damage it does to my body. I know you see where I'm going with this......
And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell.~ James 3:6
I said, I will take heed to my ways, That I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, While the wicked is before me.~ Psalms 39:1
A gentle tongue is a tree of life; But perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit. ~ Proverbs 15:4
Death and life are in the power of the tongue; And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. ~ Proverbs 18:21
These are just a few of the scriptures warning us of the negative results of and unruly tongue.
The pain and devastation we can cause to others as well as ourselves by not controlling what we say can sometimes be damaging to the point of death.
Like those tiny ants injecting their venom into me, the words we speak over others can be poison to their soul.
It is our responsibility to choose our words carefully so what we say will bring life not death to ourselves and others.
Most people don't realize how powerful the little tiny sting of a word sent out in anger and frustration can be to another human being. Even if your attitude is "I'm just keeping it real" your reality may not be the reality of the person you are firing your words toward. You may be killing their hopes and dreams rather than being a vessel of life and hope.
It's not always what you say, but how you say it that can make the difference between life and death for someone, even yourself. Sometimes we have to discipline or instruct another, but it can still be done in a manner that makes them feel like there's hope not like they are a loser.
In business management training I learned to sandwich constructive criticism between two layers of praise.
I encourage anyone reading this to take a couple days and listen, really listen to the words you send out to others, and the words you speak about yourself. Make a mental, or on paper, list of the words that could be a poison dart being fired out into someones soul. Sometimes even "joking" around with someone can pierce their soul. Before you speak them, think, don't just blert out poison darts that you could avoid by thinking before you speak. If what you are about to speak is not God sent, or positive, or uplifting, or inspiring or in love just say no to your mouth and your brain. Retrain yourself to speak carefully and deliberately so your words bring life not death.
To quote my Mother who quoted the famous Disney character Thumper who quoted his Mother, "If you can't say nothin nice, don't say nothin at all."
Like those little ants that wreck so much havoc to my body, your words may seem harmless to you, but to someone else they may be the words that cause them to give up and feel hopeless.
Remember, we are going to have to give an account to God at some point for our actions, and our words are actions they are alive with power to kill or heal.
Keep your little part of the world a place where others feel safe and secure. Where they know they won't get bitten by anything that will cause them to feel less than what God created them to be.
We all need a place where we won't get bitten by the little ants of this world. Make you one of those places!
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