Have you ever said anything that you regret? Perhaps you lost your temper and said some things better left unsaid, or maybe you were hurt and wanted to hurt someone else so you damaged their reputation by spreading gossip. How often have you gotten upset or angry about something that was done to you and went to complain or "vent" to a coworker or friend? Do these situations sound familiar?
We all have been guilty of letting our tongue and temper get the better of us. More often than not, the hurt and anger comes from misunderstanding or lack of communication; This is especially true among people with different backgrounds and cultures. I know this is a challenge among staff and residents here at New Beginnings. Individuals from different cultures and backgrounds are living and working under one roof and what might be acceptable and said in innocence in one culture, might be annoying or insulting to another culture. It is a challenge that we can all overcome with patience and understanding.
We should look to God when we have these issues. What does He say about our words? I know that in the Ten Commandments, God says "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." You might argue that it is all true! I am just exposing this person for what they really are! We must ask ourselves, what does this commandment really mean? In Luther's Small Catechism, it is explained like this: "We should fear and love God that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, or give him a bad name, but defend him, speak well of him, and take his words and actions in the kindest possible way."
This is difficult I realize. When we have been hurt or offended, the easiest thing to do is react instantly. We must control our words and think before we speak. Let us see what else God's Word has to say about it. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Amen!) – Psalm 19:14, ESV Here we are asking that our thoughts and words are pleasing to God. That must be a question that we ask ourselves before we react. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1, ESV We must be aware of others and their feelings. We should think of others first.
May He grant us patience and control over our words and actions that we may be witnesses for His love.
Christina Pritzlaff is married with two children. She has completed Early Childhood 1 & 2 classes, Infant Toddler classes, and completed the coursework for her Associates degree in Child Development. Christina splits her time between spending time with her family and working at NewBeginnings. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, camping, fishing, reading, and doing counted cross-stitch.