Words have power. They can build up or tear down; reconcile or divide; and offer hope or inflict harm. When you use words that tear down, divide or inflict harm, you are responsible for your actions. When you intentionally do so knowing the impact they will have on others, you need to repent. Saying you do not mean what others hear is not an excuse. In fact, it makes things all the worse. This is not a political matter. It is quite simply a faith issue. If there is any doubt, remember Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan. His piercing words remind you that you don’t get to pick and choose how you treat others. Rather, you are called by God to always act neighborly toward every single person you meet.