Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sticks and Stones

And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” Mark 7:14-16

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me." I remember that old rhyme we use to say to ward off nasty things that other children said to us. And I have found, that those nasty names other children called me, still haunt me sometimes, while the physical bruises and wounds have healed up completely. Vile words can break a heart and a spirit, and can stay with a person all their life. When we are feeling particularly vulnerable, those cruel judgments of others can become our own self-judgment. And what was never supposed to hurt us, became the weapon of violent destruction. The things that come out of a person, even kidding and teasing, can wound more than we can ever know.

The religious right in Jesus' day were fussing over the disciples lack of discipline. And Jesus challenged them to think of what really matters to God and to our fellow human beings. If we do all that is right, but wound our friends and family, are we truly faithful? And if with our words and actions we destroy others self-confidence, haven't we really only defiled ourselves, even if we keep all the laws?

Today, I want to remember that what comes out of me, my words and actions can be those of transformation or destruction. Life or death. And my judgments of others can become my own down fall. So today, I pray that I can live a life of lifting others up. A day of celebrating and rejoicing in all the small wonders that make up my world. May we all put judgment aside and accept the judgment of God - ' you are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased."

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