The concept of thanksgiving is so important... and the words we speak... are just as important... and can help us in our endeavors to be thankful.
There was a young girl... who had trouble controlling her temper. Her mom gave her a bag of nails and told her that each time she lost her temper, she must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.
The first day the girl had driven 37 nails into the fence. She labored with each thrust of the heavy hammer... as she struggled to hit the nail head. Over the next few weeks... as she learned to control her anger... the number of nails she hammered daily dwindled down. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the girl didn't lose her temper at all. She told her mom about it and the mother had another suggestion. Each day that you are able to hold your temper... I want you to pull out one nail. Many days passed and the young girl was finally able to tell her mom that all the nails were out of the fence. The mother took her little girls hand and led her to the fence one more time.
She said, "You have done well, my daughter, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence can never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar... just like this one..." and she pointed to a hole in the fence.
Words are so powerful... they can edify and encourage those around us... leaving them with a desire to smile... be positive and to be considerate to others. Still... words can also destroy a person... leaving them angry and wanting to destroy whoever and whatever is in their pathway. It is so easy to just say something without thinking... and then try to offer a flimsy apology. It won't matter how many times you say, "I'm sorry," the wound is still there... it almost lives on a daily basis... always stinging and always remembering.
A verbal wound is just as bad as a physical wound... if not worse. It is something you can never take back completely... because a verbal wound leaves a scar... just as great as any physical scar... you just can't see it. On the other hand... the person who carries the scar... can't forget it. Thomas was only able to recognize Jesus... by seeing and touching his scars... and then he cried... My Lord and My God... for he knew in his heart... Jesus bore great pain... and carried those scars for him.
Friends are very rare jewels! They make you smile and encourage you to succeed... they lend an ear... they share words of praise... and they always want to open their hearts to us. It is so important to THINK before we speak... to sincerely APOLOGISE when we make a mistake... and to quickly REPENT asking God to help us always... to do better!
Remember: Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.