The worst distance between two people
I am definitely getting older. When my older children were young, we experienced lots of misunderstandings. Someone would mutter under their breath, someone else would hear, someone would push or shove or take. Someone would use words that were not nice. They could and would make each other cry. One of my most used expressions at the time was, "if it makes someone else cry, it is not fun or funny!" I know that they got tired of hearing it, and it took many, many years for them to finally understand (I hope) that teasing is mean. It is tremendously hard on people to be mad fun of. It hurts their hearts and their spirits. We have learned together that the worst distance ever between us is always a misunderstanding.
In this crazy age of technology, it is easier than ever to develop misunderstandings. The way we write, the punctuation that we leave out. The shortcuts we take all lead to misunderstandings. As I try to teach the young women I am working with at church this principle, I know they think I am old fashioned. I know that sometimes they tease on purpose. They MEAN to hurt each other. That can be the hardest to bear of all. So I work on teaching them that no matter how angry or hurt they think they are, it is never, ever all right to treat anyone in a way you would not want to be treated. Even if they treat you that way.
It hurts my heart when they are unkind to each other. It is so hard for them to understand that every single moment can help to encourage someone else. You can literally be the reason that their day changed for the better.
I found a good scripture for this one in the New Testament. I hope that it touches you as it has touched me. May the words we speak always bring happiness to the Lord.
Colossians 8:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.