Writing benefits in sand, injuries in marble

If someone gave you a compliment, and then someone else gave you a criticism, which would you spend more time thinking about?

What if you got an A in geography and a D in science?

Thomas More said: “We write in the sand the benefits we receive, but injuries upon marble.”* It’s a poetic way to say that we quickly forget about positive things, but allow the negative, hurtful things to be engraved on our hearts for perpetuity.

But that’s not proportionate. And it doesn’t need to be that way.

Paul encourages his readers to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger,” and instead, to be “kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

When we hold on to bitterness, rage and anger, they remain close to us. After all, we’re holding on to them! Instead, we can take a posture of kindness, compassion and forgiveness since that is the ultimate posture God has already taken toward us in Christ.

Instead of writing positive things in the sand and the negative in marble, why not reverse the trend? When you allow God’s grace to be carved on your heart, right alongside the goodness which others have poured into your life, you don’t give any space for bitterness to take root and take over.


–My latest PODCAST is called “Human Trafficking: Evil, online risks and how to help – a talk with Mikhaela Gray-Beerman.” We talk about the problem, trends, serious online risks (especially for youth), and how to help. Click here to listen, or look for ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe to podcasts: iTunes (Apple), Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–*Thomas Stapleton, Life of Sir Thomas More (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, 1928), 129.

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