Just a reminder to be sensitive about what you say but also to search for the love and true meaning behind things people say that might rub us the wrong way.
After my fourth son received his mission call (Canada Montreal, Mandarin speaking) our friends and neighbors celebrated with us and shared all the usual tidbits of information about the mission and people they knew in the area, etc.
Oddly, in the midst of all the congratulations, my fifth son heard something different. Over and over people said to him, “Wow, your brothers have all had such interesting mission calls. Ha, I bet you’ll go somewhere boring like Wyoming/Nevada/Idaho.”
I stood next to him during these conversations enough times to know people just thought they were being clever and funny; they certainly didn’t mean any offense. But my son has just enough insecurities about keeping up with his four over-achieving older brothers that he felt a bit wounded. And as an champion of missionaries everywhere, I don’t support the idea that there are interesting and non-interesting missions.
Within a few Sundays the talk about mission calls receded and I talked to my son about ignoring the dumb things people say. As Saints, we need to work constantly on not taking offense. A huge portion of Christlike living lies in letting things go, learning to live with the bumps and bruises inflicted by our fellow Saints. But while I’m working on those qualities, I also want to learn not to give offense. I cringe to think of all the tackless comments I’ve made in the past. None of my ill-spoken words came from malice– simply stupidity.