The Bible says, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another,” (Galatians 5:15). Sometimes I hear people say, “I just let so-and-so have it.” When I hear someone say that, my sarcastic mind immediately thinks, “What did you let them have?” I assume it is a piece of their mind, which is something I cannot afford to give—I need all the pieces I have left! Besides, he who slings mud loses ground every time.
But what makes us feel so free to unload both barrels? What comes unhinged that allows us to do the unthinkable?
An Available Weapon
If someone broke into your home and made you feel defenseless, scared, and threatened, you would look around for the nearest blunt object and start swinging. But what if someone’s words or behavior do the same. We reach in our arsenal and begin firing words off like an automatic machine gun. Why not? After all, it feels great (at least in the moment).
The “Why Not”
How about God’s commands?
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—Ephesians 4:29
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.—Colossians 4:6
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:—Ephesians 4:15
…to name just a few. But in that moment, we aren’t thinking Scripture; and we definitely aren’t walking in the Spirit. That’s like letting a child have a loaded gun during a temper tantrum!
Maybe we should come to our senses about the damage that our words can inflict. Proverbs 12:18 says that we can speak, “Like the piercings of a sword,”—a tough injury to return from. The greatest danger of our words is that they just might work. And then what? How many years will it take to restore trust and friendship? Or maybe that person will just turn away from God? I know none of us want to be responsible for that.
All We Like Sheep
Sheep bite each other. They are pretty mean about it. The problem with biting is that soon it becomes chewing, then devouring. Stay off that course. The casualties are high. Don’t “let them have it” unless “it” will be a help.