Say what you mean, mean what you say

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.

This entry was posted in Commentary and tagged , , on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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