Sunday, September 18, 2011

Words And Feathers

The power of words are underestimated by so many. Women use more words every day than men simply because we are made differently.

In my ladies bible class today we studied a scripture from Proverbs that was a good reminder and a warning about our words.

Proverbs 15 (NIV)
28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
   but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
 29 The LORD is far from the wicked
   but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

The mouth of the wicked gushes evil. That is a solemn reminder to watch our words. I shared a story I once heard a preacher tell with my class this morning. I do not remember where I heard it, but it really illustrates how we must watch what we say.

A woman was feeling very guilty about gossiping about someone in her community. She had really spoken badly about this person to numerous people. She went to her preacher and asked how she could fix the situation. The preacher asked if she was willing to do whatever it took to remedy the situation no matter how hard it was, and the woman enthusiastically agreed.
The preacher gave her these instructions; take a basket and fill it with feathers, then go and place a feather on each doorstep of every person you gossiped to, then come back and talk to me.
The woman was a little perplexed at the instructions, and a little overwhelmed because there were a lot of homes to visit, but she was willing to try to fix this problem.
That very afternoon she went and got the basketful of feathers and spent several hours traveling around the community putting a feather very carefully on each doorstep. As she was doing this very tedious task she was contemplating just how this could possibly fix the gossip issue.
When she finished she went to the preacher and asked how this fixed the situation. He told her she needed now to go back out and gather up all the feathers as quickly as she could and then come see him in the morning.
As she set out once again, a breeze started blowing. When she got to the first house the breeze had blown away the feather, it was no where to be found. The same thing was true at each house she went to, and she began to become frantic. 
She couldn't wait until morning, she went to the preacher's home in tears. "I couldn't get back any of the feathers, they all blew away! What can I do?"
The preacher with a knowing look said, " Those feathers are just like the words used to harm that other person, they can never be retrieved once they are said. They blow where they will, and can never be taken back."

This is such a poignant reminder, a word said can never be taken back.
My we never "gush" evil, but always weigh our words.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

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