You are reading Facebook.
Or maybe James and Solomon were as they wrote about the destructive power of spoken words.
“How long will mockers delight in mockery?” wisdom says. “How long will fools hate knowledge?”
“Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark,” James says. “The tongue is also a fire. It sets the whole course of one’s life on fire.”
Thousands of years later, we are burning down careers, destroying families, despising one another with simple words. Simple, spiteful, cynical, superficial, self-celebrating words.
And even as we hear this prayer, we are filling in the names of people that we wish would read it, that we just know are wrong.
I say that because even as I come to you, I think of names.
Without recognizing that my name is on that list.
Even when I don’t speak publicly, the words of anger are in my heart.
I so want the “them” to know that they are wrong and destructive.
You are reading the Facebook of my mind, the outraged comments that form, often unspoken, in my heart.
I confess that I have said and thought words that wound and condemn.
I confess that those around me that hear my frustration are not encouraged.
I confess that in my aggravation at others,
I do damage to my body and my reason,
my compassion and my creativity,
my rest and my recovery.
I confess that I stay in the outrage to watch rather than walking away to survive.
Forgive our – my – trespasses and help me forgive others.
Restore the joy of my relationship with you and others.
Through Christ our Lord.