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“Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”” Proverbs 26:18‭-‬19 NLT
Our family have been long time Costco members. One of the things we enjoy about Costco is that if you are dissatisfied with anything you purchase, you can take it back for a full refund. If the clothes don’t hold up well, if a food item isn’t something you like, or if you regret the impulse buy, you can take it back, receive a full refund and go on as if the initial purchase never happened.
You acted, reversed it, and you are back to where you started. Words spoken, particularly lies are not like that. Once they are out, there are no “take-backs”, and you may never be able to get back to where you started.
We often wish we could take back words spoken. We can’t. We say something and no matter what we do after that, we can’t take it back.
Even following with “I was only joking” does not mend the wound created by a lie.
We are all too familiar with the reporting of crazed individuals firing deadly weapons, and the damages that occur. We continue to be shocked and horrified at those incidents as we scramble for understanding and means of prevention. Solutions for prevention are slow to come and complex in nature, and we may have limited abilities as individuals to do something about it. But there is one area that we do have the ability to control, our own words.
Words can cause as much damage as any other weapon, but unlike the crazed shooter, we have the ability to control them. If words aren’t spoken, if lies aren’t told, there is nothing to take back and the damage is averted.
This week, be careful with the words you speak. You can’t take them back.
In His Hands,