WRITE: Devotionals, Out of the Dust, Lesson Learned
#12 Lesson Learned
Scripture Reading: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
Thought: No matter what a situation may look like, we need to keep our words about others kind, pure, and wholesome.
Excerpt, Out of the Dust: In 1998, when Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras, I knew God wanted me to help. I collected a truckload of supplies from our Arkansas community. After several adventures on a shrimp boat in the wake of the hurricane, the supplies and I, along with my Honduran friend Gladys, made it to the capital city, Tegucigalpa.
By daylight, all we could see was destruction. The slick roads were covered in mud. Almost every treetop had furniture or other household objects lodged in it, and any houses that remained had suffered horrific damage. Hurricane Mitch’s terrible power had stripped most people’s clothes from their bodies. They covered themselves with blankets or anything they could find.
I remained in Honduras for two more weeks. We’ve had some terrible disasters in our country, but the Hondurans had no insurance, no savings, no anything. Yet they still managed to smile.
Gladys and I went out to the refugee camps set up in the state schools, where the scenes were equally unbelievable. People were trying to cook in old paint cans or discarded pieces of tin. The hurricane filled the outhouses with water and mud, but everyone needed them. Gladys and I dumped bleach in each facility to help prevent disease, working like crazy to help in any way we could.
On one of the first afternoons, I saw a big Coca-Cola truck heading up the mountain. “Look at them, taking advantage of people who have nothing left,” I told Gladys, sure the company was making money through disaster relief.
Later that day, one of the area men told us about the visit from the truck. “They handed out bottles of water and soda,” he said. “No one had to pay.”
There amid the tragic scene, I had to stop and repent. My words reflected my poor attitude. I judged the company without knowing the truth. Later on, God would remind me of this incident whenever I was tempted to question someone’s motives. There are always things we don’t know. (Chapter 13)
Prayer: Lord, guard my heart and my tongue when I’m tempted to make a snap judgment. Help me check my own motives before questioning others’, and help my words build up rather than tear down.
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