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Helping or hurting?"
May 10, 2023

May 2023 Issue 206

Guard your speech: Be kind to others

One of the most entertaining features of this newsletter and is reading about my boneheaded mistakes. But I reveal them for one important reason: I want you to learn from them and avoid them.

That's why this issue is about guarding your speech. I wish I had done that at a much younger age, but it took me a long time to mature.

Speaking wisely isn't just good manners; it's a biblical command. The book of James says, "So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do." (James 3:5, TLB)

Let's take a look at how you can protect yourself and those around you by guarding your speech.

Watch your words

I stabbed her.
In that fleeting moment
it felt like fun.
Until I realized
what I had done.

My weapon of choice
was not a knife,
but cutting words
said in anger and strife.

That look of shock
and pain in her eyes
made me instantly despise

I was so ashamed
of my cruel attack,
but words once spoken
can't be taken back.

"I'm sorry," I gulped.
Too little, too late.
Where did I get
such ugly hate?

That was years ago
but I can't forget.
The guilt of that instant
haunts me yet.

There is in my story
a lesson for you:
Watch your words
whatever you do.

Speak with kindness,
love and calm.
And your words will be
a healing balm.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2023 ~

"Oh, I don't need that. I'm doing all right."

"Oh, I don't need that book. I'm doing all right," you may say. But are you? Are you fulfilled? Do you look forward to getting up in the morning? Do you shop or drink or text or eat too much to keep from facing your troubles?

We all go through periods of denial. We get so used to putting on a front for the rest of the world that we even do it for our self. But at some point we have to face the truth. We have to start tackling our problems.

Hope for Hurting Singles shows you how. Step-by-step, it walks you out of loneliness, rejection, depression, fear, and bitterness. The tools in this book work because they were tested in the real world against big, life-stalling problems.

Hope for Hurting Singles will give you power you never dreamed of. That statement is true because it shows you how to rely on the Holy Spirit for might. That's how to live the Christian life, you know.

Get Hope for Hurting Singles for $10.99 in paperback or $3.99 for the Kindle version. It's just what you need!

QOTM: Others are struggling too

May's Quote of the Month comes from John Watson, writing fiction under the pen name Ian MacLaren. Watson was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
~ Ian MacLaren (1850 - 1907) ~

One of the great secrets of life is that people are like icebergs: We only see the tip; there's a lot going on beneath the surface. If there was anyone who could see beneath the surface, it was Jesus of Nazareth.

You and I can't be as perceptive as Jesus, but we can assume everyone is fighting a hard battle and act and speak accordingly. Some people are short-tempered because they're worried. Some are arrogant because they have low self-esteem. A surprisingly large number of people actually hate themselves and take it out on others.

Be kind. Remember everyone is struggling. You will never regret treating people with the compassion Jesus showed.

Avoiding regrets means living deliberately now

One of the best ways to avoid regrets is to remember how you felt when someone hurt you. Then ask yourself, "Do I want to be the kind of person who hurts others?"

How mean and nasty our world has become in the last decade! I don't want to add to that, and I don't think you do either. When we are polite and kind to others, we won't have anything to regret later.

Some people believe they have the "right" to say or do whatever they want. Nobody has that right. Acting without weighing the consequences is for two year-olds, not mature adults.

Here's what you want in your life: When you get old and gray, you want to be able to look back and have very, very few regrets. Here's how you can do that…

Why I believe so strongly in kindness

I am very fortunate to have had parents who practiced kindness. My mother, who is 95, has many friends who are drawn to her because of her gentle personality. My father, who passed away in 1995, taught my brother and me to treat everyone with respect, especially women. I am forever grateful to him for that.

Some of you may not have had examples like them. Maybe you come from a broken home or a situation where people yelled and argued. But that doesn't mean you have to act that way yourself. Jesus calls you to be better.

When Jesus told us to love one another, he set the ground rule for the kingdom of God. Love requires kindness and generosity. We can forgive because we have been forgiven. We can love because God loved us first.

By being kind, you obey Jesus, single friend, and because kindness is such a rare quality in today's society, you will stand out from the crowd. You become more attractive.

R.I.P. Charles Stanley

Radio and TV preacher Charles F. Stanley died in April at the age of 90. I listened to Dr. Stanley on the radio for decades. His InTouch ministry was an important part of my daily routine; however, I am thrilled that InTouch is continuing the program with reruns of his most popular sermons. If you've never heard him, you're in for a treat.

Dr. Stanley was a faithful preacher of the authentic Word of God. His messages were uncompromisingly biblical. He was also an enthusiastic encourager in every broadcast, a wonderful example of a life well-lived for Jesus. I thank God for Charles Stanley. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Creative Commons)

That, fellow singleton, concludes the May Inspire-O-Gram. Let me say again what a privilege it is for me to visit you through this newsletter. Thank you for reading. If you care to reach me, our secure contact form will forward your email to my personal inbox and I'll reply to you within 3 days.

Spring is here! Get outside and enjoy God's creation. My prayer for you is that our heavenly Father will make his love strongly felt in your life.

Until June,

Jack Zavada
PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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