Saturday, February 3, 2007

Salt of the Earth

Some time ago, someone said to me, "What a round chubby face you have."
No I wasn't devastated.
And my face is fine, thank you very much.
A few days later, a friend and I were enjoying our girls' day out when we bumped into an acquaintance.
Right after the 'nice seeing you again', the person said to my friend,
"You look sick, not enough sleep is it?"

I could write a book about the unflattering things people say.
Here are some I've encountered:
"Long time no see, recognize your big face anywhere."
"You're really a very nice person although you look fierce."
Here's another half-compliment-half-insult: "Love your curls but they look good only for your age group."
Why O why O why do people say unkind, insensitive, even rude remarks to others?
After thinking about this for several weeks, here's my humble conclusion:
people who throw such remarks to others don't really care about how or why people look sick, pale, tired, or big-faced.
In fact, they probably don't think much about what they said before, during or after they said them.
Don't take them personally.

So why do people make such unkind, insensitive, even rude comments?
Here's what I think:
1) people say such things out of sheer hard training and habit;
2) they say such things because they run out of things to say;
3) putting people down is the only way they could feel better about themselves;
4) all of the above.

"When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
"But he who restrains his lips is wise.
"The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, . . . .
"The lips of the righteous feed many,
"But fools die for lack of understanding." (Prov 10:19-21)

Here's what I learned from these wise words:
1) If we edit or cut down words that come out of our mouth, chances are we will hurt people less.
2) When we hurt others with uncaring words--even when 'we didn't mean to'--we can't take them back. Some hurts don't heal with time.
3) If we have nothing good to say, it's better to not say anything.
4) Hard words don't make people strong. They just make them hard. I know of marriages that died because of unpremeditated, guile-less but unkind, insensitive and rude remarks.
6) Finally, if we consciously speak words that 'feed' others--bring encouragement, healing, growth--we are wise.
And are truly salt of the earth.

love the ocean - God made it for Himself

About Me

In the Old Testament in the Bible, there was a man named Jacob who "wrestled with God and man." He wouldn't let God go until God answered his prayers. God admired that and renamed him Israel, "the one who fought or wrestled and prevailed". He fought with man--his inner man--and conquered his own weaknesses. He's my hero. He is what I hope God and man see me to be.