When you talk, you should always be kind and wise. Then you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. — Colossians 4:6 ICB
ACHOO! That’s the universal sound for a sneeze. Sneezing — or sternutation (stur-new-TEY-shun) — is your body’s way of getting rid of something that’s irritating your nose. You might sneeze because you have a cold. Or because dust, pet hair, or pollen is tickling inside your nose. Some people even sneeze when they step out into the sunlight!
When something irritates your nose, special nerves send a message to your brain. (Fun fact: you can’t sneeze when you’re asleep, because those nerves are asleep too.) Your brain then tells all your body parts to work together to sneeze — from your chest and tummy muscles to your throat and eyelids. When you sneeze, as many as 100,000 little droplets shoot out your nose at 100 miles per hour, traveling 20 feet or more. So please — cover your sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve!
Sneezes travel pretty far and fast, but there’s something else you’ve experienced that travels faster and farther: gossip. Gossip is spreading rumors. It’s saying hurtful things about someone — things that may not even be true! And some people do it for fun. But the Bible has a lot to say about gossip, and none of it is good. God says gossip is a sin, just like lying, fighting, and murder (Romans 1:29). So don’t spread hurtful words. Share helpful words instead!
Dear God, please help me control my words. Help me be careful about what I say. Let me only say things that are good and helpful and kind.
In the United States people often say the phrase Bless you or God bless you after someone sneezes. But in Germany they say Gesundheit, and in Italy it’s Salute. Both words mean “health.” In Nigeria, in the Igbo language, they say ndo, which means “sorry.” But in Korea, they don’t say a thing!
Excerpted with permission from How Great Is Our God by Louie Giglio, copyright Louie Giglio.
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Today’s devotion is a perfect one to share with your kids or grandkids! Who are you going to send it to? Come share with us! We want to know!