When I was about 12-13 I fell off my bike and hurt my arm. My mom said it was probably a sprain. Being that we didn’t have insurance she thought it best to wait a few days to see if it got any better. It didn’t get better, it hurt really bad all the time. Mom took me to the doctor and it turns out I had a hairline crack. They set it (ouch) and casted it up. Everything was fine.
Another time I was riding my skateboard (it was a form of transportation back then) and hit a rock, all was well because I used my face as a break! I busted 3 of my front teeth out, ripped open my chin and had a rather nice “racing stripe” down the middle of my face. The Doctor pushed my teeth back into their socket BEFORE he put any Novocain in my mouth. WOW that hurt.
My point? No am not bragging about my scars, no I didn’t learn any life changing lessons from them. My point is the pain. These two things are probably the worst accidents that happened to me. And while they both had their share of pain, neither are the first to come to mind when someone ask me what has hurt me the most. When I think about my worst pains, I ALWAYS think about the times I was hurt by something somebody SAID. Not a cut, not stitches, not broken bones but WORDS. WORDS can hurt worst than anything I can think of. Why? Because, for most of us, physical pain goes away, WORDS linger in our head for years.
I think of all the times somebody said something mean, cruel or discouraging to me and it Burns, I had rather break another bone. I can remember the event, the setting and what they said like it was yesterday, and I have a terrible memory! Then I think of the things that I HAVE SAID, that may have hurt someone else. I’ll bet I have verbally hurt more people than I have been verbally hurt by others! I say a lot of dumb stuff in the name of humor (or attempted humor). Just this past week I opened my mouth and garbage came out. As soon as I said it, I knew how wrong it was. I thought about every way possible that my statement could have been taken. And EVERY WAY was painful. I had to eat some humble pie and apologize. I am not good at that at all. But I was and am sorry for my foolishness.
James takes about the power of the tongue and the damage it can do. I have seen a lot of really bad stuff in movies but I have heard worst in them than I have seen. Now, I know what you are thinking, “I have seen people tortured and murdered in movies!”. Yes we both have but I have hear people tortured for years verbally. Have you ever heard a “hate phrase”? Movies are full of them, and so are we. Sure ok, but what about murder? I do believe that words can kill. They can discourage someone about God that they will never turn to Him...and perish forever. I have see a persons talents insulted to the point that they NEVER use those gifts again. Thus, that part of that person is murdered. The Bible tells us that If we hate our brother, we are murderers.
There is power in laughter and a lot of US try to make people laugh. Unfortunately, it usually comes at some else expense. Now I can take a joke, but someone else may not take a joke very well. Or you may hit a nerve that you didn’t know about. So if we are together, and you feel the need to joke, joke me before you joke someone you may truly hurt.
Here is a list of things you can freely joke about me:
My hair, my sports ability (or lack there of), my taste in music (80’s rule!), my love for the Ford Pinto, my age, my size, my messy office, my computers (but you will lose) and my N.C. Roots.
Here is a list you cannot and should not joke about me:
My Wife, my tools, my skating (you WILL get owned out on the floor), my mom, my honesty, my loyalty or my intelligence (or lack of). These things are sensitive to me.
In closing: never, ever joke someone you really don’t like. I see this allot with the teens. And kids are getting hurt.