My four-year-old granddaughter couldn’t resist the mud-puddle as we walked across the parking lot. I told her to walk around it, but she stepped into it and splattered dirty water onto her sister’s legs and mine. As you can imagine, her impulsiveness didn’t bring her the joy she’d thought it would. She’d hoped for giggles and exclamations of excitement akin to that she felt inside. She didn’t stop to consider the feelings of others as she enjoyed her romp in the water.
Sometimes we cannot help but get a bit of mud upon our legs as we wade through the mud-puddles of life. However, I think the way to avoid the splatter is more than avoiding the puddle. It’s walking cautiously, with purpose, with wisdom. We do not get that from insisting upon our own way and splattering another with our opinions. Peter reminds us how vital that is:
“But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.” 1 Peter 3:15
I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the power of words. Do my words share the depth of my heart or the shallowness of my mind? Sometimes I believe it is the latter. I don’t want it to be that way. I want the joy I have in my Savior to show. I want the peace He bestows upon me to flow through me and into the lives of others. I want the confidence I have in the Word of God to dispel the doubt others have in their circumstances and difficulty. I want to hear–truly hear, what another is saying when they speak. I want to understand why they feel the need to be brusque, to be insensitive to others. I want to counter hopelessness with Hope–a Hope far greater than anything this earth affords. If we find ourselves unable to talk without complaining, dialogue without irritation, then it is best we keep silent and avoid splashing others by our steps–and useless words.
PRAYER: Lord, keep me mindful of the biting affect my words can have. Keep my mind stayed upon You and the hope I have in knowing You. Let my words bring healing and encouragement in a world quick to stomp out the Light of Your goodness and love.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2010