August 16-17, 2008
WATCH YOUR WORDS
by Charles R. Swindoll
Have you noticed how suffering brings people together? Have you watched how people join forces to respond to disasters? Hardship forces us to grab hands with one another and pull up closer together. Suffering never ruined a nation! Hardship doesn't fracture families. Affluence does! But not suffering. Not hardship. It pushes everybody to the same level with the same goal: survival. And so we're not surprised to find the Jews weeping and wailing and fasting together.
Mordecai not only informs Esther, through her servant, of all that has happened, even down to the specifics regarding the exact amount of money in the deal; he also sends along official evidence---a copy of the text of the edict. "Have your queen read this," he says. "This was signed with the king's signet ring." He didn't lose control of his emotions; he didn't exaggerate. He was careful with the information he communicated.
Why do I make such a point of this? Because we live in a day of hearsay, when few people pass along information that is precise and reliable. Do you? Are you careful about what you say? Do you have the facts? Do you offer proof that the information you are conveying is correct? While there are occasions when it's appropriate to pass along needed and serious information to the right sources, there's a growing preoccupation with rumor and slander. Half truths and innuendos become juicy morsels in the mouths of unreliable gossips. There is no way to measure the number of people who have been hurt by rumor, exaggeration, and hearsay. Perhaps you have suffered this yourself.
Be careful what you say. Be careful how you say it. Be careful that you send the right message, that you send it to the right person, and that you do so with the right motive.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.