Leviticus 14:1‐57; Mark 6:30‐56; Psalm 40:1‐10; Proverbs 10:11‐12
We all know the rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” We all know it is not true. Words are extremely effective at causing hurt. That is actually why the rhyme came to be, we teach kids to thicken their emotional skin against the sticks and stones of hurtful speech. Most people have been on the receiving end of such verbal abuse and have the scars to prove it. Sadly, we do need to be able to absorb verbal blows just to function in this life. And yet if we harden our hearts to the power of words, do we not damage our ability to be in a right relationship with others and with God?
We cannot control what others say, but we can control our own speech. The proverb for today encourages us to see the power our mouths have to cause great evil:
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.” – Proverbs 10:11-12
Not only can our mouths conceal violence, they also can cover all offenses. They can stir up strife or they give life—a fountain of life.
So…what is coming out of your mouth these days; is it anger, hatred, and strife? Or, is your mouth flowing like a fountain of life-giving, sin-covering love? How can you use your words today to flow with the love that covers all offenses?
The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine