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This story about nails in the fence was shared by my pastor, one sermon:

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. 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.

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 this one. 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.

Our words can make and break a person and in today’s world, with social media at its highest, it surprises me how testimony’s can easily be broken or made with the simple typing of words.

I had a mentor, a very godly and wise woman, who shared, we have to be careful, sharing things over emails, text’s and even on blogs or facebook, because words typed out and sent over the internet, can’t be taken back as readily, but the difference in the typed word and the spoken word, is that the person affected, those words are there still on paper, or in today’s world, text messages, email and facebook.

They can go over and no amount of sorry, can take back what is there to remind them and us, of hurtful words that were sent out.

Forgiveness…..it helps mend wounds and move forward, but it doesn’t change the past that can’t be taken bad.

Words spoken, can’t be quickly retrieved when said to our loved ones, to friends, to strangers, to anyone.
Saying, “I’m sorry”, helps bridge wounds when both parties, are able to reconcile, but sometimes, the best words, are words that, are spoken in wisdom and prudence.

At the end of the day, is it really worth, saying something, just because in the fit of emotion, or impatience, we have to say what we have to say, instead of just walking away, taking a deep breathe, praying about it and also asking ourselves, “Is it really worth it”.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV), reminds us,”29 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.”

At the end of the day, its more about tickling ears as it is about setting an example of maturity, grace and often prudence.

After all,

18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
(Proverbs 12:18, New King James Version)”


Come join me and everyone else for “Word Filled Wednesday“;

© 2011, Sunflower Faith. All rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  1. Joy of Desserts
    Twitter: JoyOfDesserts
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    That’s one of my favorite stories. The version I heard was ever so slightly different and it was a young man, but basically the same story. Something to remain very conscious of lest we hurt others without even trying. Somewhat related, have you heard that the FTC has now ruled companies, universities, etc. can run social media background checks on people? That bit of news was shared with us by our church’s teen ministry.

    I have an award waiting for you on my blog, Sunflower Faith. :-)
    I have another giveaway too, so enter for a chance to win.
    Joy of Desserts recently posted..Award: The Versatile Blogger from AnnamariaMy Profile

  2. Alida
    Twitter: alidasturn
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I have always loved that story about the nails. My husband uses a tube of toothpaste to further illustrate that lesson about not being able to take the words back.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    joy & blessings,
    Alida
    Alida recently posted..thought for today…My Profile

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