Be Kind Or Be Silent

22 Aug

“Never say mean words out of anger.  Your anger will pass.  But your mean words can scar a person for life.  So use kind words or be silent.”  ~ Stephanie J. Brown

This is a quote that really strikes home.  There are many people who are not as careful as they could or should be about what they say to others.  In the process, they often end up hurting the feelings of others.  I say this strikes home because I am one of those people.  I can be flippant at times in my speech.  I do it for comic relief more than anything else but it doesn’t always come across that way.  Sometimes, a person’s feelings get hurt.  I feel bad when that happens and, as we all do, wish I could take it back.  But as we all know, there is no taking some things back.

If this resonates with you, you are agreeing with me that sometimes we say things that can hurt other people’s feelings.  The things that we say are often done so innocently.  We did not have the intention to hurt someone.  It just happened.  All because we did not guard our words.

“Okay.  I agree with you already.  So, just where is this going?”  The example that I gave was something happening because of an innocent error of not guarding what was being said.  Today’s quote, on the other hand, adds a certain ingredient to the mix that potentially makes things much worse:  anger.  “Never say mean words out of anger.”  If we agree that our words, innocently spoken, can hurt others, how much more the words we speak in anger.

We all know that when we are angry we rarely check our words.  We say things that we know will be hurtful, things that are very personal and spiteful, and we often say them with the intention of hurting another.  Later, we may very well regret what we had said but, by then, it will have been too late.  Our words may leave marks on a person that cannot be taken away.  The words spoken may change relationships permanently.  Our words may cause someone to go into depression.  The words spoken may change the way another person views life and the trustworthiness of others.

Why is it that we often store up things in our hearts that get tapped when we are angry?  It is almost as if we gather arrows and place them in a quiver for the “perfect time”.  The perfect time to say hurtful things is never and most especially not when we are angry.  As a mater of fact, there never is a perfect time to say hurtful things.

If we practice saying kind things to others and using helpful words, we will be less prone to reach for hurtful words when we are angry.  Instead, we will face our anger maturely and realize the danger of using hurtful words against others.  A moment of anger is not worth the loss of a friend or the breakdown of any relationship.

FAITH ACTION:  Choose your words carefully today, knowing the impact that they can have on others.