Mary books

Monday, 16 January 2012

Ray on Monday - A Dangerous Letter

After reading this meditation by my husband, I thought those of us who write should be extra careful of our words!

Strange how something from long ago drops into the mind. I must have been fifteen or sixteen years old. I’m now over seventy and a sermon by A.B. Clark slipped into my consciousness. Well, it was only snippets of what he said but it must have made an impression way back then.
His emphasis was on a most dangerous letter, the letter S.
It can turn word into sword, will into swill, lush into slush, nob into snob and in into sin.
If you took the time I’m sure you could conjure up more. The point I think he was making was how careful we must be with words and not allow our ‘S’ nature–meaning our sin disposition–corrupt what we present with our mouth.

The Bible tells us that by our words we will be either condemned or justified. We are also accountable for those ill chosen expressions which so glibly flow from our lips, especially when we are angry or resentful. No wonder James called the tongue a ‘fire’ and a ‘world of evil’ (James 3:6).

The old saying, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but name will never hurt me’ is untrue. A broken bone can heal but a lacerated heart and mind may be poisoned and perverted forever. Relationships have split asunder by words being made swords aimed at cutting another to pieces.

Is it any wonder we need to ask the Lord to control, discipline and cleanse our ‘S’ nature?
Psalm 19 encourages us with these words: ‘By them (the words of God’s Law) a servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’

Ray (always wrestling with the ‘S’ nature) Hawkins.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mary, this is so true. My mother used to write nasty letters to others. I made up my mind, never to do that. A letter can be read over and over, and does stab the heart and wound the reader. When I left my husband after being with him for 35 yrs I was a broken soul. I returned to nursing and had much to catch up on. I had spoken to a lady pastor by phone but we had never met in person. When we were due to meet for coffee I dressed up for the occasion. I often feel if you look good you feel good, and I needed it then. Well from the moment she looked at me I could see the dislike in her eyes. I tried to be friendly and have a nice visit, but she was pulling me down in her mind. A few days after, and just prior Christmas 9which I was alone for), I received a letter from her. It was horrible. I couldn't believe how she torn me to pieces.. A nursing friend could see how devastated I was, and insisted I burn the letter, which I I understand first hand, how hurtful words can be.