Pause

The stakes are high. The road is long. But your Savior walks with you, steadying your feet along the way.

Breathe in and remember God’s hope for you — that your journey may lead to God’s Kingdom come here, now, and forever.

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Listen

You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder, and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:21-24

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Think

Our world is shrinking every day as our level of online connectivity grows. But any length of time on social media reminds you of how hateful people can be in 140 characters or less. Without much thought, we can tap the “send” button and tell an unlimited network of people what we think of an actor’s hairstyle, a football player’s incompetence, or even our classmate’s embarrassing moment.

Within seconds, lives are changed from the hurt or pain caused by a single tweet. Nations go to war over e-mail, students are bullied daily on Twitter. The world keeps getting smaller, but we begin to feel more alone.

Standing on a mountain in Galilee, Jesus says, “This is unacceptable. Speaking a careless word to your fellow human is as good as murder.” And he leaves no room for question or argument. How we treat each other matters — even to the point of life or death.

In a world where it is so easy to use words without caution, choose kindness.

Emily Holladay

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Pray

God whose words spoke life into being, help me to use my words to create hope and love in the places where both are hard to find. May the words I speak and write bring life and not death. Amen.

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Go

Go. Take the next step, confident that the One who set the stakes high walks the road with you. Do not lose sight of what is good.

“And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Micah 6:8 (NRSV)

Emily Holladay

Emily Holladay is the associate pastor for children and families at Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. In addition to her work at the church, she loves to read, write, run, eat ice cream, and play with her adorable puppies, Sookie and Luna.

Take My Life and Let It Be

Jim McConnell

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