Murder, She Wrote

by Danielle N. Hall

2/17/2017

It’s taken me over a month to finally get this thought out…

What a year 2016 was! There were deaths of so many people who we’d come to know or admire over the years or who we came to know of after their deaths. There was Prince, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Janet Reno, Arnold Palmer, and then there was Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The list is much more extensive. In some way, the news of the deaths touched us. The controversial deaths, of the last two mentioned, troubled our core and shed more light on an epidemic of the abuse of power of those in authority. I’d like to turn your attention to yet another systemic problem that has claimed more lives than few: character assassination.


In the age where social media engagement is just as routine as laundering your clothes, we are privy to a host of people’s opinions: good, bad, or indifferent. I’ve observed some of the most hate-filled and inconsiderate expressions of many. Having differing opinions, from the topic of political preference to the topic of lifestyle, should not warrant the spewing of sentiments laced with venom.

I’ll refrain from naming any particular individual(s) because the issue stretches far beyond the contentious utterances of one person or a few people. Social media isn’t the only place where we witness these heinous accounts: we’ve been privy to them in our families, on our jobs, and EVEN in “the church”. I want to be very careful of finger pointing because I don’t want to be guilty of the very topic being addressed here. I think what’s important is that we individually govern our thoughts and understand that just because something is permissible to say, it may not be profitable.

Consider this: each word spoken is a seed that will take root and then grow into a plant you’ll have to eat the fruit of. 

A man’s stomach will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; He will be satisfied with the consequence of his words. – Proverbs 18:20 (AMP)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a picky eater!

Sometimes, when people attack the character of others it’s because they’ve either not discovered or not acknowledged the truth about themselves. We all have a flaw or two and being hasty to cast judgment isn’t advisable. At times I’m impatient, easily angered, or lazy. I know that about myself and I acknowledge it.  I’ve also been guilty of speaking ill of others. You know what they say: when you know better, you do better. We ALL have room for improvement and before you part your lips to attack the character of another, just remember that one day you’ll have to eat the fruit.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” – Proverbs 18:21 (AMP)

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What Lies Beneath

by Danielle N. Hall

4/17/16

Most of us have heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, yet many of us are guilty of doing just that. We’ve become so preoccupied with the package that we overlook the value of the contents.

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When someone walks in a dark room, chances are they desire light: not a lamp embellished with all the bells and whistles. What good is the lamp without the bulb?

Be careful to not dismiss what’s inside by being so distracted by the external. I’ve been guilty of doing this concerning fruit: I’ve discounted many bananas because of a brown spot…of any size. I also would not eat chicken drumsticks because of the veins and other stuff they have going on. However, in recent days, I’ve tried to be a little less finicky and a bit more open-minded. It was a conscious decision that I made based on considering a bigger picture. If I’m hungry am I going to deny myself either of the aforementioned because of how it looks? The answer is definitely NO.

PAUSE AND THINK
Have you ever dismissed someone or something just because of the outside appearance? Have you ever qualified someone or something just because of the external appearance? Be honest with yourselves. I know I’ve been guilty a time or several, but I’m older and wiser and I have matured enough to value what lies beneath the surface.

Those with a superficial mindset miss out on some of the greatest jewels in life. As I’ve matured, I’ve been more concerned with the substance of people, rather than the surface. I’ve known a few people who had it all together on the outside, but were lacking substance…or instead they may have been full of dung. What good is being donned in an Italian silk suit, yet being heartless? What good is it to be “beat to the gawds” in MAC makeup, yet be a mess inside?

When Samuel was sent to anoint the next King of Israel, Jesse only presented the sons who he thought were worthy…based on the external. However, God had someone else in mind: David, the young shepherd boy. God knew He could trust him because of what he had on the inside: faith in Him.

In the eyes of his own father, David was the least likely to be chosen and wasn’t even considered. In the eyes of our Heavenly Father, David was just the one He wanted and he was therefore chosen.

Proverbs 3:13-16 (VOICE) reads: “How fortunate are those who discover Lady Wisdom and those who understand her ways! For her worth is greater than the most expensive prize you could win. Her profit is greater than the finest thing you could buy. No gem is more precious than she is—your most extravagant desire doesn’t come close to her. She holds the secret of a long life in one hand and riches and fame in her other hand.”

From this passage we understand that more valuable than the most precious stone is wisdom. Wisdom is intangible, yet worth much. Let’s be mindful to not write off the one who possesses the very wisdom, or any other valuable asset, essential to our growth and success. It what’s inside that truly matters…it’s what lies beneath.