I was sitting at a table not long ago before a meeting and a discussion was going on with a few of us, when somehow one of the people said something that I found interesting and it made me wonder how well people really understand and think about the words that they use and what we are taught in the Bible. The person had what they said was a bad upbringing by there mother and that their mother was going to Hell for the way that she is/was. I found this remark to be very interesting in that it is so against the teachings of the Bible and the words of Jesus.
In the Bible Jesus says that we should Love Our Neighbors As Ourselves. Many people just think of physical actions when it comes to this statement, but this statement is also true of our words. Now I will admit that I have done this, and most likely will in the future, but I really do try my best not to wish ill upon someone else.
I was listening to someone a number of year ago talk about wishing ill upon someone else, and it made me think about the words that we use when it comes to stuff. The example that the person used was about cars. They said that there are some cars on the road today that seem to have a common thing where something will break down after so many miles. But he pointed out that this wasn’t true of all the cars within the different makes and models, in that for many of the cars the part(s) will last a number of times longer than people are saying. The ill will comes when someone says to the owner that the car after so long their car will have this certain problem, instead of saying something to the effect that they had heard about the problem, but that we happy to see that the person bought a car that they were happy with and liked. Would you want for someone to tell you that you are going to have problems with a vehicle that you are happy with and most likely won’t happen for years, if it even happens?
Now think about the times that you either thought or told someone that you wish that they would go to Hell. Now do you want for someone to say that to you and for their words to come true? Would you feel guilty if you were to go to Heaven and you by that time you had a developed a great relationship with the person, and when you asked where they were, God looked at you and reminded you that you wished that they went to Hell, so he granted your request? What if the person that you wished would just simply die, and they then dropped dead right in front of you? How would you feel?
I was talking with a friend of mine, and our discussion was about some of the things in the Bible. Somehow we got to talking about the parting of the seas so that the Jews could cross with Moses, and he said that it is sad that we celebrate the passage, but yet don’t mourn for the loss of these soldiers who died. I really hadn’t thought about it. Then he said something to the effect of “Since God created us all, wasn’t those his creations that died?” The more that I thought about what he said, the more that I really began to rethink that story.
Late last year a scandal broke at Penn State University. One of the assistant football coaches was accused of sexually abusing some young boys. One of the results of the whole thing was that the head coach, Joe Paterno was fired. When things initially broke, Paterno said that he would retire at the end of the season. Now even though he wasn’t the one abusing the young boys, and when an accusation had been brought to him he did what he felt he had to do, when the story broke people wanted him fired and some wished that he would die. Companies backed away from him, the the College system removed his name from an award. When he died, I suddenly began to wonder how many of those people who vilified him where now giving nothing but high praises about him? I also wonder how many of the people who vilified him and wanted to see him die now regret the words they used?
I had lunch not to long ago with someone who did something wrong in not giving me the credit due because of some work that I did. They had been told that they need to apologize for there actions, but they have done whatever they could do avoid saying the words “I’m sorry.” They have laid blame on so much other stuff, even on their upbring and on their own mother. When I mentioned to them at lunch what was due to me by them, they had even more excuses. One of the excuses I found really disturbing and realized how they really enjoy damaging others. The person started talking about how it should be done in private so that the person giving the apology isn’t embarrassed, but thinking upon what was said is so wrong. I began to wonder how many of the people who bullied someone thought that they should apologize to whom they bullied, but were going to wait until they were alone with the person, now regret it even more because the person killed themselves because of the bullying that happened? How many lives could have been saved if a simple apology had been made? I wonder how many of those bullies will now end up in Hell because God granted the wish of the one who killed themselves even though the bully changed their life around and actually brought people to the teachings of the Bible?
Oh I forgive the person who did me wrong, but I feel sad for them, as no matter how hard they try to justify to themselves as to how right they are, they will have to answer to God for there actions. I am sure that they will try and come up with excuses, but for all of us our excuses won’t work, as God knows us better than we know ourself. We aren’t going to be judged just on the Good that we have done in life, but also up on the bad that we have done, and that bad also includes the words that we use.
Words are a powerful thing, and the way that they are used are even more powerful. Can you honestly look in the mirror and say that you don’t regret anything that you have said? I know that I can’t.