The Language of Hooting

Bible Reading: 2 Kings 2:9–25

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“Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” (1 Peter 2:17)

If you stand outside near a wooded area on a still night, you may hear the eerie cry of an owl. I do not understand what the owl is saying when it hoots, but when people hoot, the meaning is unmistakable: it is a mocking laugh that communicates scorn and derision. Few things are more painful than to be hooted at by other people. This language produces no good, and we should never speak it.  

Hooting often focuses on some oddity of a person or group in order to belittle them. Children may hoot at one another, or even at grownups. Children need to be taught respect, or they will grow up to be adults who disrespect law enforcement officers and other authority figures. Respect is the foundation of law and order.  

Another form of hooting is jokes that belittle certain ethnic or religious groups. Such jokes are not becoming to those who fear the Lord. Mutual respect, to the point of honoring and preferring others above ourselves, is to be the way of life among believers. This respect is rooted in Christian love for our fellow man, and it is the foundation for harmonious church life.  

Satan knows the advantage he will gain if he can introduce disrespect among children and young people, and if he can convince parents and teachers to ignore this behavior. If we lose ground in this area, we will suffer serious consequences.  

Let us leave hooting to the owls among the shadowy trees on dark nights.  

Unless we’re an owl, we should not hoot; 
We must not allow any scorn to take root. 

From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller
© 2015 TGS International, PO Box 355, Berlin, Ohio 44610
Used by permission.


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