The Pastor’s Challenge: June 26

Buffalo IL - Former St. Joseph's Catholic Church
Image by myoldpostcards via Flickr

Pastor’s Challenge from Sunday, June 26: Say nothing bad about anyone all week.

Day 1 of our pastor’s challenge equals immediate failure. The words that came out of my mouth that day were perhaps deserved, but still unkind to the person. The heat of the moment cooled and I forced my thoughts onto happier planes.

Day 2 found me repeating my mistake. Why is it so hard to say nothing unkind and so easy to give in to the moment and say something when I had sworn I would say nothing? I sit here feeling so undeserving of grace when I can’t stop the tongue. Maybe these moments are lessons to help me feel small and not puffed up in pride because I succeeded at something? Oh, Lord, help me be strong!

“What kind of spreading does James have in mind? It is easy to envision the spreading of evil through a church family because of gossip, slander and criticisms. If Paul had written this passage, we might expect him to employ his image of the church as the body of Christ to describe the injury done to other lives by one person’s impure speech. But James’s reference to the body appears to be in the Jewish sense of the whole person rather than a figure of speech for the church. His focus is more on the destruction of the impure speaker’s own life.” – From

It’s still early. I am going to strive to say nothing negative about anyone today. I am going to encourage today. I am going to put it behind me and move forward. God is the God of second chances. This is not an easy challenge, but a worthy one.

Day 3 has begun clean. Not one single negative word has escaped my mouth. I am hopeful that this bodes well for the rest of the day. Not that I am aiming to become one of those annoying Pollyanna types that run around with a smile always on her face, but it makes me more aware of what words come out of my mouth. That, in itself, is a good thing. A habit most people should strive to keep.

Day 4 and 5 found this task getting easier.

The week is through and my report card is dismal. A teacher may mark my grade as a D. Will tomorrow be business as usual, or will this become a good habit? Should I strive for it all of the rest of my life? That’s a huge, daunting task.