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Unkind words

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Dear editor:

I don't watch many sitcoms these days because most of them contain profanity and sexual situations. I enjoy the ones of the 1960s, such as "I Love Lucy," "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "The Andy Griffith Show." Andy Griffith plays Sheriff Andy Taylor, with his bumbling deputy, Barney Fife, played by comedian Don Knotts. Barney almost always gets himself into trouble, but rather than chide, curse or brow-beat him, Andy gives him the benefit of the doubt. He praises Barney for the work Andy does.

What this world needs are more Andy Taylors, who don't get upset with a fellow employee or an unfriendly neighbor and yells out, " Fool!"

The Bible teaches us that there are many ways we can send ourselves to hell: rejecting the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross for our sins (2 Timothy 3:5); refusing God's gift of salvation (Hebrews 2:3); cursing the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32). Also, Matthew 5:22c says, "whosoever shall say (to his brother), 'Thou fool', shall be in danger of hellfire."

You may never have called anyone a fool, but there are over 40 words that mean the same thing, such as birdbrain, bonehead, bozo, champ, clad, dolt, dummy, half-wit, ignoramus, imbecile, meathead, moron and some in other languages.

I have even heard some Christians say, "I may be wrong to call that person a jerk, but if he is -- he is!" When I'm on the road and a speedy driver forces his way between me and another car, I have been known to yell out, "Idiot!" But then I ask God to forgive me and I pray that the crazy driver gets to his destination safely. Unless these kinds of remarks are confessed to God and repentance is forthcoming, all will be judged by what is written -- good or bad -- in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12).

There is only one Person who has the right and authority to call someone a fool, and that is Almighty God (ref. Luke 12:16-20). Even Jesus, having been invited to dine with a Pharisee, and did not wash His hands to the astonishment of His host, denounced him as a fool for his self-righteousness (ref. Luke 11:37-40).

Christ Jesus, in confrontation with a group of Pharisees, said that whatever comes out of a person's mouth tells what is in his heart: a good person will have "good treasure in his heart" and an evil person will have "evil treasure." He warns us that "every idle word that (people) shall speak, they will give an account in the day of judgment." The words of the righteous will prove their worth, but those of the unrighteous will condemn them (Matthew 12:35-37).

Decide today that you will put Jesus in your heart as your Treasure (Luke 12:34), pray for your adversaries (Matthew 5:44d), and that your words will bring glory to God (Psalm 86:12).

Donald Cunningham

Hot Springs

Editorial on 08/08/2018

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