While standing in a check-out line, I overheard the conversation of the two women standing in front of me. In the ten minutes it took waiting for their turn, they complained about their husbands, children, neighbors, ladies from church, and the young guy at the register. I pretended to ignore them so that I wasn’t added to the list of targets.
I’m sure these frazzled moms were just stressed out and letting off some steam. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the first impression I was left with. I couldn’t help but feel I was standing in a snake pit. These ladies were spitting venom like cobras and I was doing my best to stay out of the line of fire.
I’m not trying to sound judgmental, I have been a cobra. I’ve vented frustrations to a trusted girlfriend before too, but never really considered how others perceived me. I didn’t think about how quickly my pity party could turn into witch hunt. Meanwhile, I was destroying my witness.
Can you relate? Have you spit venom about people you know? Or even worse, have you ever aimed your venom directly at someone in your life knowing you would hurt them? I have. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. And, unfortunately, I can be as accurate as a cobra.
Our words can bring death or life and they travel farther than we realize. What we say about others can leave an impression in ways we may never realize. (I guarantee those ladies never thought they’d be the subject of a blog). What kind of first impression do you want to give? Speaking encouragement to others or spitting in public?
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” James 3:9