|Tribune Content Agency
Feb 29, 2020
|From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My grandmother loves me and raised me but she doesn’t pull any punches when she thinks I’ve done something wrong, including expressing my opinion. She tells me that I have a sharp tongue, but her words cripple me. Is it just human nature that causes needless conflict? — S.T.
A: An opinion is often a personal judgment without fact or knowledge to back it up. A sharp tongue means to say something unkind, with the intent of hurting someone. It is important to guard our tongues and to use our speech for good instead of evil. How many relationships have been destroyed because of criticism that spiraled out of control? How many friendships have broken down because of a word spoken thoughtlessly or in anger? A harsh word cannot be taken back; no apology can fully repair its damage.
One of the ironies of human nature is that it often has a way of rejecting the best and accepting the worst. We must acknowledge that there is a great defect that runs through the human race, a built-in waywardness that comes from man’s rebellion against God. It is called sin.
Man is a rebel and is in conflict with every other rebel. The deepest problems of the human race are spiritual in nature and the Bible declares that the “whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Galatians 3:22, 1984 NIV). They are rooted in man’s refusal to seek God’s way. The problem is sin in the human heart, which God alone can change. Sin is the great “clogger,” and the blood of Christ is the great cleanser. “The blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). There is no need to be crippled any longer by sin — because God has provided the cure.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.