Sunday, September 30, 2012


There are various forms of stingers - the most common is a sharp organ which is found in various animals that delivers a venom by piercing the skin of another animal.  Bees, mosquitoes  wasps, hornets and scorpions all have stingers.  Some - such as honey bees - die after using their stinger as it is pulled from the body after stinging an animal. In medicine - a stinger - is a situation in which a nerve is injured and causes pain to the patient. In casual conversation - a stinger is a retort or comment made between individuals in which one person makes a comment that may be hurtful to the other.  In general - all stingers cause pain - whether intended or not.  Everyone knows of someone who has been hurt by a stinger - if not themselves.  Common traits of stingers is that they usually happen when least expected - are very quickly executed - and have effects that invariably leaves at least one person in pain.  Probably the worst kind of stinger is the verbal assault that is delivered in front of other people and leaves the person who was attacked in an embarrassing condition.  Verbal comments - attacks with words - often do more harm than physical attacks. 
When Jesus was chided by the Pharisees (Mark 7:1-23) about his disciples eating without first washing their hands - He remarked that what caused an "unclean" condition in men was not what went into the body but rather what came out of the body - that is spoken words. He told them that food went into the stomach - not into the heart.  Only that which was in the heart of men and the words spoken from the heart that was made up of lies - false comments - stingers meant to hurt others - was what made a person "unclean".  As we seek to grow in our relationship with Jesus - each of us has to focus our thoughts and words so we are not guilty of delivering stingers - rather we need to offer words of encouragement that builds up the spirit of others.   Do as Jesus would do.

Deacon Dale