“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” –Proverbs 18:21
Recently I had a conversation with a friend in which she told me that another friend of hers was upset about a sarcastic remark that was directed at her by another so-called friend. This particular time the woman made the cutting remarks on Facebook — for everybody to see. This wasn’t the first time this woman had made cutting remarks to her for no apparent reason. The woman finally decided that she no longer wants any further communication with this other woman and is going to remove her from her list of “Facebook” friends. No one likes it when sarcasm is directed at them — so why do it to others, and especially, why direct your cutting remarks at your so-called friends and loved ones?
When I was in 6th grade there was a little girl (Loretta) that the other kids used to say unflattering things about. One day my teacher asked if I would be Loretta’s partner for class assignments for a certain period of time, and be kind of a friend to her. She told me Loretta had requested a transfer out of class because she had no friends and because of how some of the kids were treating her. I wasn’t all that gung-ho about stepping up to the plate on this one but I did because: 1 – I liked my teacher, Mrs. Dickerson and, 2 – My heart really went out to this girl when I heard that she wanted to leave the class because of how she was being treated by some of the other students. I thought that no one should have to feel that way. For a minute I was concerned about how some of my classmates would treat me as a result of me working with Loretta on projects and just even being somewhat of a friend to her. Could I handle any backlash from befriending this person? Compassion took over. I decided to just do it. The next day they moved Loretta’s desk next to mine. I hoped and prayed that there wouldn’t be any problems from the other students. As it turned out, no one treated me any differently. No one gave me any problems. I think a few people may have asked why I was talking to Loretta, or working with her, but that’s it. At the end of the specified time period the teacher asked Loretta whether or not she still wanted to transfer out of the class. Loretta said she decided to stay because she now had a friend. My teacher gave me the option to stop partnering with Loretta on class assignments, but I decided to continue throughout the remainder of the school year. In taking the time to get to know Loretta, I found out that she was a very nice person. The next year I went to another school for junior high school. I don’t know whatever happened to Loretta, but her story has always remained with me and I’m glad I made a positive difference in her life.
Now days we even hear cases of teenagers being verbally bullied via the internet and through text messaging. It’s called cyber bullying. You can read more about bullying here: http://www.olweus.org/public/bullying.page.
I remember one case in which the victim of bullying eventually committed suicide.
Also in the news:
“Words Hurt. Don’t be a part of it.”
Wanda’s Song by The Readings
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them
fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit
was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The
two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit
with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop,
that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took
heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again,
the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He
jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the
other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained to
them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the
This story teaches two lessons:
1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging
word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it
through the day.
2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes
to kill them.
Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your
path. The power of words… it is sometimes hard to understand
that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak
words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in
difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time
to encourage another.
What is the intent of your words?