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It’s a dry heat. That’s what I heard growing up about Arizona.

“Yeah, it’s hot, but hey at least it’s a dry heat.”

While that may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still hot. 105 is 105 is 105. My father is a big fan of black cars, and while they look sleek and awesome, they’re hot. The leather seats heat up and your bottom feels like a grilled cheese on a skillet. But hey, in Arizona….it’s dry.

That’s the thing about perception isn’t? I’m in Arizona right now where it’s 70 in the afternoon and at the gas station yesterday I see a girl with a giant ski cap on. Now, did she choose this for the look or did she choose this because 70 to an Arizonian (Arizonite?) is cold? I didn’t have a chance to ask, nor would I have. Perception is everything in how we relate to other people – the way sentences are formed, the method in which they’re delivered and the way the face looks at the time of delivery. The slightest change can upset the entire flow of conversation.

This is something that having been married almost ten years you’d think I would have learned. I haven’t. I’m still learning that words when used poorly can cut deeper than a knife. James 3:6 puts it this way –

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

There’s a happy visual for you, but my goodness is it true. Think of all the press conferences that happen today because someone says something that offends and suddenly they’re fighting for their jobs, their money, etc. Our society is ever watchful to make sure that we all say things that are kind, that are non-offensive, that are non-prejudice. And yes should aim for these things, but the thing that our society forgets is that we are human. We are going to jam our foot in our mouths, we are going to shoot from the hip and sometimes when we do things come out that shouldn’t! I think this is why Proverbs 21:23 says –

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

How intelligent is this? Basically in today’s terms – shut your dang mouth or you’re going to look like an idiot.

I have to think about this because as father I can make or break my kids. I’m a sarcastic person, and I have to constantly be reminded that when sarcasm is used on a person that does not fully grasp it, it’s detrimental to a relationship. This is also vital to remember when meeting new people. Edify them, don’t use sarcasm. I’m preaching hypocritically here because as a 5’8″ white male in America – it’s kind of all I have.

If you notice, Jesus chooses his words so wisely. He knows what to say, how to say it and when to say it. This is the sign of maturity. The sign of a person that understands the value of words and how to relate to other people. Think about that as you go. Use prudence.

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