It’s difficult to see the hurt inflicted by the well-meaning and then stand helpless to remedy. Words without thought born of pressure, urgency and ego can cut so deeply, so quickly into the tender flesh of self-respect.
Men, especially, elbow their way through the crowds clambering for the spotlight, often intimidated by this present society and aggressive women. Their self-respect is a direct product of the little fragments of honor dropped along their life path. These fragments are treasures; some simply dropped by acquaintances over the years to maturity. Others are left as hands full on purpose by thoughtful mothers, sisters and wise wives.
Yet, how fragile man’s sense of self! How fleeting the supposed success when one set of thoughtless words can dash it all to ruin in a moment. I saw this slaughter one evening and awoke the next day with a sorrow for the ruin; and a longing to somehow leave a basket full of encouragement along the path of this stoic man now filling his day, no doubt, with work and purpose in an effort to grasp again that elusive self-respect.
Worse yet, the woman from whose mouth the daggers hurled has probably forgotten the whole episode; while I, a non-participating bystander, am plagued with the memory of the fallen countenance, the retreating and defeated body language and the invisible bleeding of a wounded brother.
Dear Christian, fellow servant, please watch for these mini-wars within the body. Learn from them, and then purpose in your own heart to never hurl daggers of ridicule. And especially do not justify such behavior with, “Oh, I’m just kidding you.” Such jesting is often a cloak of deceit and a work of the flesh. We must protect the fragile gem of respect and humbly submit to one another in love as Jesus would have us to do. Women, especially, be careful to not hurt the gentlemen. Their pain often runs more deeply than ours.