Halo my path with gentleness and love, smooth every asperity of temper; let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief; may I strive to bind up every wound, and pour oil on all troubled waters.
The fact is that I do forget how easy it is to occasion grief. Sometimes I say or write and email things that I intend to be taken matter-of-factly but they are misinterpreted. Oh but there are those other times I am self-indulgent and thoughtless with regard to the grief I occassion, I think (like a fool!) that I am justified using rapier sarcasm or in pointing out the "obvious" in a way that is obviously graceless and anything but gentle. And the thing is that I can do this in an instant without thinking about it! Bang - incoming email and bang! bang! outgoing email from yours truly.
In the past month or so I posted some thoughts on email, on being thoughtful and considerate and temperate in its use; just a week or two after that post I sent one of the most thoughtless emails I've sent in quite some time - I occasioned grief - oh what a great testimony that was. I didn't think about the people I was writing to, I didn't think about them as people, I was looking at a problem abstractly without concern for the people involved. Go Bob!
I'm reminded of the words of James that the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy... It might be nice if I practice what I profess to believe.