I once attended a funeral where a very distraught young lady stood at the time of remarks and made comments about her deceased brother that shocked everyone in the room. Emotional, and in tears, she said she was unsure if her brother knew she loved him because the last thing she said to him was, “I hate you.” Wow. She went on to say how utterly sorry she was and how she wished she could take the words back. She also expressed how very much she loved him and it was all because of a stupid argument that she said what she said. She never thought that would be the last time she would speak to him. The audience was brought to tears and many gave her hugs of support after the service. I guess everyone could empathize. I’m sure her brother knew she loved him but isn’t this a sad example of why we ought to watch what we say to others? It makes you wonder if we could find ourselves in a similar situation because of the way we sometimes speak to those we love.
We sing the church song, “Angry Words, O Let Them Never:”
Angry words! oh, let them never
From the tongue unbridled slip;
May the hearts’ best impulse ever
Check them e’er they soil the lip.
Love one another, Thus saith the Saviour,
Children, obey the Father’s blest command:
Love one another, Thus saith Saviour,
Children, obey his blest command. (Horatius R. Palmer)
This is a command of God. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Eph.4:26). We may become angry, even at the very ones we love, but we should never say things we wish we could take back. A few verses later Paul exhorts, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (4:29). Our words should encourage and build others up, but never tear them down. “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col.4:6). In contrast, angry words are meant to hurt. May this story remind us that we cannot hurt others, even with our words, without hurting ourselves (Mat.12:36-37; Gal.6:7; Jas.1:26). Let’s obey the blest command of loving one another and let our words always show it!