A story that been navigating the web this week; it is the story of a fifteen year old girl named Hannah Jordan, from North Carolina in the U.S.
Like many other girls her age, Hanna is a high-schooler who has a Facebook account. One day, Hannah got really upset with her parents…and she decided to vent her frustrations by writing a letter about it and posting it on Facebook.
She made sure however that she blocked her parents on Facebook so that they could not read what she said about them.
Hannah’s father however, is very tech-savvy…and he was upgrading her daughter’s computer software when he saw the letter she had written, which he was not supposed to see…
To my parents,
I’m not your “lowly” slave. It’s not my responsibility to clean up your “stuff”. We have a cleaning lady for a reason. Her name is Linda, not Hannah.
If you want coffee, get off your “butt” and get it yourself. If you want a garden, shovel the fertilizer yourself, don’t sit back on your “butt” and watch me do it. If you walk in the house and get mud all over the floor that I just cleaned, be my guest, but clean it up after you are done getting “dirt” everywhere.
I’m tired of picking up after you. You tell me at least once a day that I need to get a job.You could just pay me for all the “stuff” that I do around the house. Every day when I get home from school, I have to do dishes, clean the counter tops, all the floors, make all the beds, do the laundry and get the trash. I’m not even going to mention all the work I do around your clinic.And if I don’t do all that every day, I get grounded. Do you know how hard it is to keep up with chores and schoolwork? It’s freaking crazy.
I go to sleep at 10 o’clock every night because I am too tired to stay up any longer and do anything else. I have to get up at five in the morning, to get ready for school. On the weekends, I have to sleep with my door locked so my little brother won’t come get me up at six. This is all true.And I’m tired – I’m tired of this “nonsense” Next time I have to pour a cup of coffee, I’m going to flip “…” I have no idea how I have a life. I’m going to hate to see the day when you get too old to “care for yourselves” and you call me, asking for help. I won’t be there.
Your “angry” Kid,
(OBVIOUSLY I HAVE CENSORED SOME OF THE EXPRESSIONS IN THIS LETTER)
After Hannah’s father read this letter, he was really angry – to say the least – and he decided to respond to this letter in a youtube video, and to post the video on his daughters wall on Facebook.
In this video, he reads the letter that Hannah wrote, and tells his side of the story (basically Hannah had exaggerated a lot about her housework duties)…and then after he sets the record straight, he informs his daughter hannah, that she is GROUNDED
until COLLEGE, and proceeds to SHOOT her computer 10 times!!!
This video has been the source of much debate and discussion…also it has been the source of a lot of funny spoofs on youtube (which I have personally enjoyed).
People criticize the father –whose name is Tommy – for being too drastic, other people commend him on his resolve not to put up with her daughter’s rebellious behavior.
I personally was sad to see the computer get shot, what a waste!!!! But one thing that I think everyone would agree with, is that it would have been better if Hannah would have not written the letter…some things should not be said…and Hannah crossed the line.
Words for Christian Living
As Christians, everything we say comes before God, and like Hannah –who was unable to hide her letter from her father – we are unable to say things without God hearing/knowing about them. God wishes us to be careful with our speech; he encourages to use our words wisely…the bible says:
NIV: 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.
Easy to Read When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you.
New Living Translation: Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
From this passage, we can see that GOD cares about what we say, and he has specific expectations regarding our speech; he says that we need to ABSTAIN from unwholesome talk, from saying bad things, or using abusive language. Also, God encourages us to say things that are uplifting to people around us. This is a very clear directive of what we ought to do…and what we shouldn’t do.
Why do you think god cares so much about what we say? Simply because words are powerful. They can destroy/hurt people, or they can heal…
NIV: The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Easy to Read: Speak without thinking, and your words can cut like a knife. Be wise, and your words can heal.
New Living Translation: Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
Think about the last time you were really, really sick…mine was Beijing 2009.
Sick in Beijing
Two years ago, Tim and I went to Beijing. It was December, and we were really excited to go see the great wall. We were staying in a really nice hotel, that had a huge bed with an amazing T.V. in front of it…we were in HEAVEN.
So the first night when we arrived we watched tv, ordered room service and went to bed. I was asleep, and then suddenly I woke up, I felt sick…really sick. I got up and had to throw up…and I never stopped throwing up.
At seven in the morning, we decided it was time to go to the hospital…and I couldn’t get there fast enough! Once we arrived at the hospital, the doctor gave me an i.v. to get me re-hydrated, and also he gave me medication to stop the vomiting. He recommended that I should try to rest and to stay for half a day in the hospital.
Half an hour after I got the medication, I was able to fall asleep…it was the best sleep ever!!! The hospital bed felt like a cloud…even better than the hotel bed!!! What was the difference??? That I had received MEDICATION…and the medications had changed my circumstances drastically, I was getting healthy.
Similarly, God wants that the words we say work like that medicine in the lives of those who hear them; that those words help change people’s circumstances for the better in a tangible way.
What are some obstacles to us speaking the right words?
1 1. The wrong thoughts
2. The wrong motives
3. Lack of confidence
Matthew 12:35-37 outlines how that which comes out of our mouth, basically reflects the thoughts, motives, and self-image that we have inside us.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
This passage says, that we need to give account for every word that we say…so we should weigh our words.
“Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” –Psalm 19:12-14
David understood the importance of words. Do we?
– May this Psalm, also be our prayer, and may our words be like medicine for those who hear them.