Have you ever seen the movie Stardust? It stars Charlie Cox as a young man named Tristan who is desperate to win the affection of a girl. To accomplish this, he sets off on a quest to bring her back dust from a fallen star. It is a story full of adventure and intrigue. He meets strange and interesting people, and eventually he finds himself and his actual true love. I really enjoyed the movie.
In the story he meets a character named Captain Shakespeare, played by Robert Deniro. Shakespeare is the captain of an air ship. He has a fearsome reputation, but in truth is a gentle man who is nothing like his persona. Though he shows kindness to Tristan, he does not want his kindness to be known. A reputation, he says, takes a lifetime to build, but only moments to destroy.
I was reminded of this today. I was working and spoke my mind about something. What I said was somewhat harsh, and could have been misconstrued. Fortunately, I was understood for my intent and my colleague did not take offense to what was said. Had I been in different company, would the outcome have been the same?
A verse from the New Testament came to mind. In the book of James, the author describes how our tongue (our words) can do great damage. It says…In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. James 3:5 NLT
We do this sometimes without meaning to. We say things out of frustration or anger, and we may not be able to take back what we said. We say things out of ignorance and that is exactly how we look. Sometimes, not saying what your are thinking may be the best tactic.
I feel grateful that what I said was not poorly received. I will, however, work on my messaging. I do not like setting fires where one is not needed.