10 Minutes Peace
by Susan McGrath
When I was in high school I worked at a fast food restaurant where we were programmed to end each transaction with "Have a nice day!" One Christmas Eve an older couple came in and ordered coffee. It was obvious the woman had been crying.
As she went to sit down, her husband explained, "We just got a call that our son-in-law was killed in an accident." I'm sure I mumbled something about how sorry I was, but as I served the coffee and handed him the change, that reflex kicked in and out of my mouth came THOSE WORDS, "Have a nice evening." (Yeah, right.)
Before I finished speaking the words I knew they were stupid, even callous. Many times since I have wished I'd said, "Have a safe trip" or "You'll be in my prayers."
Although unintentional, the words were insensitive. But how often have I intentionally said something which hurt someone?
I can think of several times I have said something to an individual or in a group setting and then stewed for hours or days over whether one person may have misinterpreted what I said or taken it as an insult. Sometimes I have even called that person and gone over my concern with them to be sure there are no hurt feelings or misunderstandings.
I strive to seek God's guidance in my words and to be conscientious of what the other person is feeling before I speak. I want my words to encourage others and lift them up, or at the very least not make them feel worse.
I'll be the first to admit I am not the most positive person, but I do try to be sensitive and not cut others with my words, because it's easy to do! As you take your ten minutes this week, ask God to reveal to you any hurtful words you may have spoken and to order your words each time you open your mouth! One of my favorite T-shirt slogans is "Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth!"
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." -- Proverbs 16:24
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a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;
living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;
completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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