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Nails in the Fence

There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper. One day, after an angry outburst, his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally, the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it, and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone, removed from the fence. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like the nails have on this fence. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there.” The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said, "I hope you can forgive me, father, for the holes I put in you.” "Of course I can," said the father.

Forgiveness comes easy for many people. But the scars made in the past…they never go away.

In our world, anger has taken root!

We get angry with those who dare to have an opinion that is different than ours.

We get angry or offended about anything and everything around us…even things that have nothing to do with us.

We take things personal…as if the world revolves around us…our opinions, our thoughts.

We dissect Facebook posts as we would dissect a frog…looking for the tiniest thing that we can jump on. (no pun intended :)

Why? Because of our own doubts? Because of our own insecurities? Because we have an elevated opinion of our own "self-importance" and "superiority". Because of our own frustrations. Because our spirits are troubled.

One thing that we can be sure of is that we will never build ourselves up by tearing others down.

After we get through pounding the nails in our own fence...what are we leaving behind? Scars!

So how do we change this?

How can we become a beacon of light…and hope… to others?

How can we lift others up instead of tearing them down?

It all begins with us. We are the change that needs to occur…and it begins by changing our own behavior.

We scroll right past the Facebook posts that make us angry.

We actually read a post and “think” about what the person is saying before commenting.

We stop looking for something to be offended about. Believe it or not, few people even care that we are offended. We need to save our “being offended” for things that are truly offensive.

We stop commenting on other people’s grammar, spelling, slang words, type-o's, CAPITAL LETTERS, personal features, etc. • We each have our limitations. • We each live in different parts of the country (world) where certain words, phrases or ways are commonplace. • Many of us have handicaps…and are forced to use CAPITAL LETTERS to be able to see the letters. (Surely we can’t be offended when someone uses CAPITAL LETTERS…it can’t really be hurting our ears :) ) • We were each born with different opportunities…or lack of.

We re-read and think about our comments…before we post them.

We ask ourselves "Will this comment build someone up or will it tear them down?" If it will tear them down...delete it...don't post it.

We remember that there is a real person on the other end of our comments...a person who may be hanging on by a bad comment may be all that it takes to push them over the edge.

We change our thought always saying something positive instead of negative…or we don’t say anything at all.

God tells us in His Word that the tongue has incredible power. We can use our tongue to bring blessings and life or curses and death.

The saying "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me" is simply not true.

"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." James 3:6

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col 4:6

Fun Exercise...Scroll through your Facebook feed and leave words of encouragement on 10 different posts. Do this today…and every day!

I have prayed for you this morning!

Have an incredible day...walking with the Lord! May He bless you abundantly!

Spread a little SUNSHINE!

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