Here are a few “Classifieds” that could have used a little editing:
- We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home – wow, who wouldn’t pay for that second skill even if you didn’t have a sewing machine!
- We do not tear your clothing with machinery; we do it carefully by hand – at least they’re honest when your clothes are ripped to shreds.
- Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition – I’m sure she is comforted by their assessment
- Pony for sale, looks like small horse – I see what you did there.
- Army vehicle missing, presumed stolen. Vehicle is worth $100,000 and was recently painted with camouflage – Perhaps they need to look harder.
- Lost white male cat, fixed, yellowish-green eyes, deaf. Answers to Spike – I guess there is feline sign language involved.
- For sale: one slightly used set of dentures, only two teeth missing – I don’t want to know anything else.
Words matter. Sticks and stones will hurt your bones … and words can break your heart. James wrote: “We all make many mistakes, but those who can control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way … the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do … blessing and cursing can come pouring out of the same mouth” (James 3:1-12).
He was right on so many levels. All of us have said things we shouldn’t and not said things we should. We have this amazing capacity of using words to tear down or build up. Words become weapons or tools in relationships, both intimate and casual.
James had other wise words of counsel: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (1:19). If we followed his advice more consistently, think of the regrets we wouldn’t have and the apologies we would never make!
Today’s goal: lift up, encourage, bless with your words; bite back the sharp retort or criticism; and please read your classified ad before printing.