"A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word in season, how good is it!" (Proverbs 15:23)
This piece will be very short- possibly the shortest post I've ever written on this blog. I saw someone yesterday that I haven't seen in months. This guy mentioned that I have not posted anything on the blog in quite awhile, so if he sees this he will probably chuckle. But then this man paid me quite a compliment about my writing. I did not expect that and frankly it really blessed me. Ironically, a short time later, my boss had a brief conversation with me commending me about many positive things about my job performance. Frankly I was stunned and shocked by that one, but it did make me feel good.
It's amazing what a difference we can make in the lives of others just by what we say.
A man I know recently lost his brother to Covid 19. My friend is in his late sixties and his brother was in his early seventies. His brother was energetic with a charismatic personality. He was a guy who looked and acted as though he were in his fifties. The surviving brother has been really sad and greieving. The gentleman who died was not vaccinated and neither is his surviving brother. I happen to be vaccinated; I've had the first two shots if that still counts as vaccinated! But some terrible things have been said to the surviving brother. People have cruelly and harshly told him, "Your brother died because he was not vaccinated." Then, they've added, "You better get vaccinated or the same thing could happen to you!" I would never say something like that. I think the whole vaccination thing should be a very private affair. I absolutely do not believe in vaccine mandates. We should respect one another's choices. But back to the point of this - the last thing that grieving man needs right now is judgment and condemnation.
Yes, it matters what we say!
I remember the closing of the church I pastored. I was in early 2010 but I remember it like it was yesterday. One guy (who no longer was part of the church but had attended it previously) actually said to me, "You must be so relieved the church is closing!" I cannot tell you how devastating that comment was to me at the time. I have been out of full-time ministry now for over a decade. Back in 2010 and 2011 a number of people looked at me like I was some sort of pariah, serious sinner, or catastrophic failure. I was under a psychiatrist's care. Thank God, that is passed! This is turning out to be a longer piece than I'd initially predicted. But I hope you'll take it to heart. We all need to remember to think before we speak; and to speak words that heal, and not words that kill.