I grew up being taught that the word "stupid" was a bad word and unacceptable. In fact, the one spanking I remember receiving from my Papa (who never spanked) was because I said "stupid".
Maybe it's trivial...but I determined long ago that my children wouldn't use the word either.
And it's a tough rule to follow because sometimes it sounds so fitting in certain contexts, but really, if you think about it, "stupid" (or any other similar word) is unnecessary to use.
As I've started reading the book of Matthew the last couple of weeks, it's funny, this was brought to light in one particular Scripture that had me both proud for implementing this rule, but also extremely enlightened at that severity in which it's discussed by Jesus.
Our words are precious. And we must...MUST chose them wisely.
You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment." But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (NLT)
This is pretty serious stuff, people.
Wouldn't you know it, Emma heard it for the first time not too long ago (not by her mother or father I might add) and now it's become more and more of a favorite word of hers.
It's her "button" word when she wants to trip ALL my buttons.
She'll look at me or her daddy and say, "sssssssssssssss-TUPID, Mommy". Or, "ssssssssssssssss-TUPID, Daddy."
And right, wrong or indifferent, I just don't think it's a word any two year old child should run around reciting. It's just not nice. Therefore we've taken to repremanding her when she says it.
Some would say this was too harsh...it's JUST a word for crying out loud!
In fact, the very person Emma heard it from recently pointed out to me that in the Message version of the Bible, "stupid" was in fact used.
Given the above verse, I had a sneakin' suspicion I might know of at least one particular Scripture that used the word so I looked it up.
And sure enough...
"You're familiar with the command to the ancients, 'Do not murder.' I'm telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother 'idiot!' and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell 'stupid!' at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. (The Message)
~Again Matthew 5:21-23
My point is this:
Regardless of whether we take this verse literally or figuratively, the truth is (and Jesus is saying this, ya'll) our words hold a power in them that we can barely even begin to comprehend. They can destroy relationships, they can shatter self-esteem. Words can communicate hate, disrespect and as an example of the latest Bullying deaths, words can kill. What we say can strike at the heart of souls. And in the case of believers, the words we chose can either back-up or negate our testimony for Christ.
My challenge to everyone reading is to be thoughtful of what you say in the coming days. Be aware of your responses with your loved ones, your co-workers and even the guy who cut you off in traffic. Consider the verbage your children are picking up on and/ or using at school or Facebook.
And do something about it.
Make a change and stop spewing off at the mouth.
Because you don't always know who's listening or who it's affecting.
One day, it could come back to affect you.
Let's stay true to the old saying, "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."
I know this is something that's going to take a lot of work on my part. But I'm with you on this walk.
It really, truly is serious business. Think about it, folks.
Guide my mouth and the words and tone and attitude that come from it, Lord. I ask that you give me only love to speak of and the patience to hold my tongue when anything less wants to come flying out.
Lord, I ask that you give me the strength and wisdom, despite what others think, to teach my children both Your Word and Your words. May You, through me, instill in them the very same love. May the importance of what they say always be on their hearts and I pray all that flows from their lips is truth and grace.
I love you.