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When you read this word, what image came into your mind?
Did you think of someone spray painting a wall or throwing a rock threw a window?
The real definition of vandalism is this:
willful destruction with malicious intent, to do harm or to destroy,
or willful or ignorant destruction of artistic or literary treasures.
I remember a few years ago our pastor was sharing on this topic.
It stirred me to think deeper. (imagine that)
The word vandalism brings up many negative thoughts and as I was thinking about those images it is true to say, we would never take a spray can and ruin some one else’s property.
We would say it is not good or considerate and even breaks a law.
Now in saying that I challenge us to think about this word in a different way.
When we talk bad about someone or spread a rumor that might not be true against them.
When we choose to believe the untruths without knowing full facts.
We are committing vandalism of the heart towards one another.
Fragmenting and hurting the heart and treasure of another.
Our Pastor said it is like homicide of the heart creating damage and death to a relationship.
When we place judgement on each other we injure the spirit of the person and the content of their story.
The willful destruction is when we choose to spread the rumor or believe the untruth.
The malicious intent is when we choose to say unkind words against another and then begin to believe them.
This intention does harm to us and does harm to the one we are speaking about.
It is unkind and it is non relational and leads to death of a relationship.
In this journey we call life.
We must take responsibility and choose to be kind.
“And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:2
God has given each of us the ability to choose wisely and to have and use discernment when making that choice.
We must take action to be cautious and careful to not harm the heart of another.
When we grasp the pure holiness of another we will refrain from intention to hurt.
When we learn the value of others as God intended them to be valued.
There will be no room for vandalism and intentional pain.
The challenge for us to examine our motives and the intention of our hearts.
Are we choosing words that hurt or heal?
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
(this is a revised reprint of a writing I did in 2010)
Let us use wise judgement and be encouraging towards each other.