Most of us grew up believing the best way to get by in life was to have thick skin.
From our childhood we were taught to let offenses slide “like water off a duck’s back” and told repeatedly “sticks and stones can break our bones, but words will never hurt us.”
These common expressions were intended to encourage us to be resilient and unhindered by others.
Of course, we should be mature and not sweat the petty stuff.
Yet as much as we like to pretend nothing bothers us, let’s face it: remarks against our weaker characteristics make us want to crawl under a rock forever.
Everyone has a limit.
The wisest man in history said our words hold a greater impact than we realize. Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) states that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
Harsh words may not literally break our bones, but they’ll definitely break our spirits.
We often assume someone is tough enough to take the hits as the target of our jokes. However, all teasing is based on the truth ninety-nine percent of the time.
After a while, people will begin to believe what they are constantly told. They might think it impossible to rise above the mocking expectations others set for them.
Jesus spoke in Mark 3:25, if a house is divided, it cannot stand, especially if its members have built up hurt feelings or complexes instead of alliances and cannot turn to each other in a time of need.
Likewise, how are we a family in Christ if we’re tearing each other apart, even unintentionally?
Gossip and teasing insults add up, causing distrust among individuals. But as James 3:10 (KJV) admonishes, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
As believers, we should shield our brothers’ and sisters’ faults instead of exposing them. Most of us are well-aware of our own flaws. Even still, we hope others will be sensitive and accept us in spite of them.
If Jesus loves us and overlooks our imperfections, then we have no excuse but to follow His example and treat each other the same way.