(A river nearby in Tennessee)
When I lived in Europe, I was quite startled to discover that some individuals would despise me simply because I was an American.
More than the seemingly-personal attacks, what shocked me most was the presence of such blind hatred. I had never been witness to such prejudice. I had read about it. I had heard about it. But I had never seen it – much less had it aimed straight at me.
This shock opened my eyes to entire world of individuals who are ostracized and marginalized, victims of prejudice, racism, and blind hatred.
It also made me realize that I had probably said or done things that hurt others. While I hold no feelings of racism or prejudice, ignorance can be just as hurtful.
There are people who experience far worse than I did because of where they were born, the color of their skin, the culture they are associated with, their religious beliefs, or their sexual preferences.
The people that said horrible things to me did not take the time to get to know me. They heard my accent and made all sorts of assumptions.
I kept saying it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair.
They didn’t care whether their words were just or not.
But you can.
It isn’t right advocate hate. There is a difference between standing up for what you believe in, and acting in blind hate.
If you’ve never thought about how your words might make people feel, I urge you to consider it.
Words have the power to hurt or heal. Which will yours do?
2 Comments Add yours
As the Bible says, the tongue can never be tamed!! Love you Court, Joy.
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I’m assuming you were referring to the passage in James 3:8 “but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.”
I have a sneaking suspicion James may have been illustrating his point and perhaps using sarcasm, as in the following verses he says:
(James 3:10-13, 15-18) “And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. …For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Also, two chapters earlier (James 1:26) the Bible says, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”
I’m sure you would agree that we should never forget that Jesus said if we love him, we are to love God and love people (Matthew 26:36-40), and not just the people we like, but the people we don’t like and the people who are mean to us (Matthew 5:43-48)! :)
Love you too!