May 13, Sunday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided Jasmin Izumikawa.  Jasmin, a member of the Church of Southland, is currently a high school teacher.


Devotional Thoughts for Today

Food Fight

Proverbs 22:24; 13:20 (ESV)

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare . . .Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

James 3:2, 8-10

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body . . . no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. 

“Play” fights occur often in my classroom. Most of them are friendly banter but sometimes students will rally back and forth jabs and jokes to each other and occasionally, somebody will take it too far. The following day, a student will announce to me, “I can’t sit with . . . I can’t stand him.”

Even in our adult lives, our lives are riddled with mis-delivered words, hurtful statements, and thoughtless remarks. Sometimes, it comes from the people we look up to or people we work closely with or sometimes from the very people we love. It can be easy to lean back in our chair, cross our arms, and spew right back. And when the impact of those words goes too far, it can take weeks, months, and even years to mend the relationship. Yes, the apostle James is right when he noted that what we say can be “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

And these hurtful words have a way of hurting us back. We can learn a valuable lesson from the story of U.S.S. O’Bannon. This is the true story of how a U.S. warship targeted a surfaced Japanese submarine, and barely avoiding collision, coasted alongside the enemy submarine. Without the capability to fire their weapons because of the close range, the sailors looked for anything to throw at their enemy. What they had on hand were potatoes; so, believe it or not, they began hurling potatoes at the enemy’s submarine deck. The Japanese crew, believing the spuds were hand grenades, began pelting them back at O’Bannon, and they then retreated. Eventually, the submarine sunk, along with all 66 crewmen.

When we use words to hurt others, we’re scraping the bottom of barrels for anything we can hurl and before we know it, we are pelting attacks back and forth, ridiculously, like these men did. And we know, far too well from our own experiences, that words can and will inflict pain when spoken out of hate, revenge, insecurity, envy, pride, and manipulation. What we need to do is to speak words of life and kindness. So much of what we say can produce love, forgiveness, humility, and empathy.

Let us heed the wise and inspired words of the apostle Paul who penned: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:30).

Prayer: Lord, You bring life and light in Your words. Would you forgive me for the hurt I have caused those I love, work with, look up to? Would you repair my heart and spirit from the hurtful words used towards me? Help me to use words in ways that make You glad. I want to forgive and embrace the life you have for me: one that involves freedom from damaging words and injuries from my past. Stop me from making the mistake of thinking and saying words out of my own insecurities, hate, envy, and pride. Fill me with words of prayer and blessings always. Breathe into me new breath to speak words of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Hebrews 8

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