Saturday, February 17, 2007

Reflection, Feb. 18, 2007

Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of February 18, 2007

As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

Powerful words

"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone."
Colossians 4:6

The other day while in town doing errands, I had my hair cut. I had made an appointment. While waiting my turn, a friendly stranger exchanged a moment of pleasant conversation. My name was called and I went to the stylist assigned to me. As she began to cut my hair, the previously pleasant stranger began complaining loudly with increasing bursts of profanity. His anger caused everyone to stop conversation and look at him. He finished his angry outburst to the store manager while calling her a number of obscenities. He was totally rude, profane, inappropriate, and intentionally hurtful. The manager treated this customer with the utmost respect and courtesy. The customer stormed out of the store while continuing to vent his frustration and anger, breathing threats to get her fired. A stunned silence followed his exit. I found myself silently breathing prayers for the angry man, and all who were unfortunate enough to meet him in his fit of rage.

While paying my bill, I gave the manager my business card. I offered to be a reference for her in this situation if the angry man made an official complaint. While preparing to leave, I thanked her for her professionalism and courtesy. Then I said, "God bless you. I hope you have a wonderful day."

Our spoken words have enormous power to harm or to heal. Chose them prayerfully when irritated or annoyed. When encountering vile language, verbal abuse, hate-filled rhetoric, and words spoken in a fit of rage, make every effort to respond courteously even to the rude, the crude, and the offensive. In doing so, your words will never return to haunt you with feelings of shame and regret. When in doubt, always err on the side of gracious speech.

God, guard my tongue and protect me from uttering hasty or thoughtless words. Help me think twice before speaking in anger. Give me new ears to hear the power of words. When I hear others responding with words of rage and hate, remind me to privately pray for them. When I speak, may my words always be seasoned with your Spirit. Amen.

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