Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)
- TITLE: "Sticks and Stones"
By Nancy Ringkamp
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Sometimes it is best to think of our words like the "telephone game." Most of us will remember when we were little and played this game. While it would not be healthy to think in this mindset all the time, it does serve a purpose. For those of us who do not remember this game, let me refresh your memory.
You gather three or more people who want to play. They sit or stand in a row side by side. For our purposes, we will say there are five people playing. The first person starts with a statement like this, "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and bumped his head." This is whispered in the second person's ear. The second person then tries to duplicate the statement to the third person and whispers, "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and cracked his head."
Notice the slight deviation from the first to the second person from "bumped" to "cracked." The third person whispers to the fourth, "Jack and Jill rode up the hill to pour a bucket of water. Jack fell down and cracked his head." Even the slight word changes at this point are changing the true facts that occurred in the beginning. The fourth person then tells the fifth person in the game, "Jack and Joyce rode a mountain bike up the foothills to get water. Jack wasn't wearing a helmet."
Now we have completely inaccurate facts and the wrong person to boot. It is the responsibility of the last and final player to say the words out loud and it is judged for accuracy. The following comment is made, "These people, not sure who, went up to the mountains and fell in the water."
BUZZ, wrong answer!!!!!!!!
We can learn from the telephone game one important lesson the apostle Paul warns us about in Ephesians. Paul starts off in Ephesians 5:1 stating, "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;" (KJV). Paul continues with instructional words for the sons and daughters of God. The most pertinent advice in relation to the telephone game is found in Ephesians 5:6, "Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." (KJV)
Anytime I have played or watched the telephone game, the final player has never gotten the statement correct. Is it this person's fault the information is not accurate? No. Is the final player sure of the facts received? No. It has spread through too many people in whispers and shadows.
Vain talkers and gossip are mentioned more than once in the Bible. As proven statistically in a staggering high percentage, the "telephone game" is destined for failure almost every time. The major difference between this game and the follish talkers of this age are they hope to succeed in bringing misery and pain intentionally.
We can not rely on the mere words of men. They have to be tested with time and trust earned from one human being to another human being. Unfortunately, the ones who take the words to heart before the normal period for bonding occurs set themselves up for heartache and grief. There is also the case of whispered secrets causing rumors to abound. We must take heed to Paul's advice in Ephesians 5:7, "Be not ye therefore partakers with them."
There are ways to test the truth and the true and tried way is with the all-important words written for us in the Bible.
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