Shun Verbal Dust-Offs

Ryne Duren, former pitcher for the New York Yankees, liked to intimidate batters. He became known as the patron saint of the psych-out. He knew how to mentally harass opposing batters, dusting them off with an assortment of wildly launched pitches.

Unfortunately, a similar thing can happen in our homes, although instead of a baseball, we launch hurtful, intimidating words that inflict fear, pain, and guilt. Too late we learn what the wise man meant when he said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21).

Even though you may be very skillful with the quick retort, what do you gain when you fire off such verbal volleys? The same scripture that speaks of the tongue’s destructive power also warns that those who exercise that power will have to eat whatever diseased fruit they plant. Often, that fruit is resentment, discord, and revenge. The dust-off experts not only hurt others; they poison their own relationships.

What can you do to decrease the inclination to attack each other with hurtful words? Since Jesus Christ is “the Word” (John 1:1), pray that your speech in every aspect of home life will reflect His role as Prince of Peace and Mediator.


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