I can tell you that there is nothing more satisfying on the golf course than crushing a golf ball off the tee, hitting it in the sweet spot, and seeing it fly on the exact trajectory, to the exact location, you intended. It is a feeling like no other. And when it happens you know. Even before you lift your head to follow the ball...you know. I have only hit my driver for more than 300 yards a handful of times but when I have it has been an amazing feeling. I only wish I could do it a little more frequently and consistently. Crushing something like a little white ball (or pink, everyone's had to play a pink ball at some point in their golfing career) can be very thereputic. We can derive pleasure at exacting our frustration on a little piece of plastic, rubber, and resin. The same can be said of many of our hobbies or sporting activities. You can crush all kinds of things. Tennis balls, baseballs, ping pong balls, soda cans, "the competition", well you get the idea.
But the other thing that we can crush, and unfortunately do more frequently than we would probably like, is our friends and family. Today we read again how Job's "friends" offer up some "stelar" advice. Bildad gives Job a verbal thrashing about suffering coming from wickedness and Job's reply is this:
"How long will you torment me and crush me with words? Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me, then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me." - Job 19:1-6
Our words carry more weight than we sometimes realize but the question for today is simply this. Are you crushing people and tormenting people with your words? Do you find that your closest friends and relatives are more often hurt when they talk to you or do they find themselves encouraged? We are given enormous power when our friends and loved ones come to us for advice or encouragement. What will we say when they do?