Growing up we all heard the limerick, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.” I am not sure there is not a greater lie foisted on people, especially children. The childhood jingle does more to ignore the ways words used by those around us often shape our self-perceptions. These words make abuse easier. These words may marginalization simple.
Lyle points out in this post how we may not know when we hurt folks. But, tucked in his reflections is the reality,
Sometimes when we offend we think it is ok since we didn’t mean any harm. But harm was still inflicted, pain still felt.
Our inattentiveness to the pain of others and our need to feel exonerated no matter what we say collide and no one wins. Here is Lyle’s post. One could suggest this post is as timely today as when it was written. Especially given the way very popular religious folks have tossed around words about others.
Here is Lyle’s post,
MONDAY, MAY 24, 2004
But I Didn’t Mean To
We hurt people all the time and don’t know it. But isn’t the end result the same, they end up hurt? Sometimes when we offend we think it is ok since we didn’t mean any harm. But harm was still inflicted, pain still felt. How does God view these situations? God is certainly far more forgiving towards us than many of the people we interact with daily.
But can we plead ignorance even to God when we hurt Him or displease Him, unintentionally? I believe at some point God expects more of us than He did the day we first believed. What that would look like in our lives would be interesting to see, put into practice. Spiritual Growth. We don’t expect our children to stay in diapers forever, why do we think God expects less of us?
What this has to do with Divine Conspiracy I don’t know, but I bet it can tie in somewhere.
POSTED BY LYLE AT 11:20 PM
1 comment on “Lyle Reminds Us How We May Inadvertently Hurt Others”
It’s been a while since I read Divine Conspiracy. If I remember right it deals heavily on the fact that our belief in and relationship with Jesus must have consequences in our lives now, today. I like the way Lyle put it:
“we don’t expect our children to stay in diapers forever, why do we think God expects less of us?”
What kind of faith do I have if I do nothing past “asking to get in”?
Perhaps the inadvertent harm of other people can be avoided by our continued and careful thought about our actions and words and how they will affect others. No small task indeed, but Jesus seems to always put a lot of emphasis on how we treat others. I think it worth our time and effort to avoid such “accidental” sin.
I think of UPS’ classification of vehicle wrecks. Most people only consider “at fault” or “not at fault”. UPS looks more to whether it was “avoidable” or “unavoidable”. You may not be at fault in an accident, but you could still have avoided it were you paying attention. Similarly I think one might not be “at fault” in an offense against a neighbor, though it still could have been “avoided” had they taken a different course of action or chosen different words (or none at all for that matter).