Sticks and Stones . . . and Planks

How it All Began

I have enjoyed writing since my high school days. Aside from art classes, English was always my favorite subject, particularly anything related to creative writing. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a school teacher. By my senior year in high school, although I loved writing, I hoped to become an artist. Nowadays, the only paintbrush I pick up is usually dipped in a gallon of Eggshell White.

So for now, I’m back to writing, or blogging, or whatever you call what I do. Hopefully the words I choose to share will touch someone in a meaningful way. My plan is not to teach a lesson or to preach, but to share my personal perspective from my tiny corner of the world.

My favorite writing space

I try to stay dedicated to my Sunday routine of writing. It can be challenging at times, especially if we are traveling. But I pray each week that the Lord will give me something worthy to say.

Like many writers, there are days when I feel dry and uninspired. Those are the days when I share what is going on in our home or in my personal life. Sometimes those little adventures lead to new ideas for future posts.

Words

This morning I found myself thinking about words. Specifically how we share words, and how they can hurt or heal. They are a powerful means of communication, whether written or spoken. We can choose our words with wisdom and compassion, or with haste and vengeance.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1-5‬

Jesus’ words are convicting to those of us who are willing to take them to heart. The internet has made it easy to hurl insults from afar. Few would repeat the same words if they were seated face-to-face with the person they insulted.

Here’s a question for you. Does the internet make us brave, or does it make us cowardly? It can do both, depending on how you use your words.

For the past two years I have given up social media during Lent. But this year I feel a need to fill those platforms with the love and kindness our Savior modeled for us.

Be the Salt and Light

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:6‬

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . . ” Ephesians‬ ‭5:8

Words are powerful. Use them sparingly. Choose them wisely. And always . . . remember that plank.

Let’s Talk

Am I alone in my complete exasperation with social media? It has become a battleground full of anger, hatred, and vulgarity, and a convenient hiding place for bullies who spew nothing but hate. This certainly hasn’t happened overnight, and there is plenty of blame to be spread around when we see how far we had slithered into the gutter. But instead of pointing fingers and shaming the “other side”, perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror.

After taking a social media hiatus during Lent, I discovered I didn’t miss it as much as I expected I would. Still, it was tempting to jump back into the fray after Easter. Nothing had changed — except for me, and my willingness to join in the chatter.

Even though I have friends and family members who have decided to leave social media, I have decided to stay. Our world needs people who are not afraid to shine light in a darkening world, and share goodness in the face of evil. We need people who will speak words of kindness and compassion, and share images that uplift rather than degrade our fellow man.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~ ‭James‬ ‭3:9-10‬

It’s really not that hard.

It begins with a simple decision to not share gossip or something you suspect is untrue. Keep conversations civil. Scroll past posts that tempt you to vent. There are so many wonderful pages and groups to follow — full of inspiring stories, photos, memes and even songs. Seek them out and begin sharing only things that will bless others!

Give it a try this week and discover how you can begin to change the conversation, one post or Tweet at a time. 😊