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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Addictions and our words

When you think of addictions, what do you automatically think of?
Alcohol.  Drugs.  Smoking.
Yet let me also add this:  some people are addicted to negativity in their speech; their words.
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, who wrote the book "Words that Hurt, Words that Heal," was lecturing one time about the powerful, often negative impact of our words.
He often asks audiences if they can go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, another person.
Invariably, a small number of listeners raise their hands, signifying "yes."  Others laugh, and quite a few call out, "No!"
Telushkin responds:  "Those who can't answer 'yes' must recognize that you have a serious problem.  If you can't go 24 hours with drinking liquor, you're addicted to alcohol.  If you can't go 24 hours without smoking you're addicted to nicotine.  So if you can't go 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, then you've lost control over your tongue."
The Bible says that our words can bring life or death.   Gossip, Slander, innuendo and other godless use of our words are taken seriously by our creator.
Maybe the greatest addiction we need to be concerned about today lies not in what we are doing but in what we are saying.
"Father, let my words be godly this day.  Let me speak of others as I would have them speak of me.  In your name, I pray.  Amen."
Just a thought for a Tuesday.

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