Intent versus Impact


I recently attended a workshop on “Micro-aggression”. The workshop highlighted that small (micro), seemingly innocent comments and actions can be interpreted to be aggressive and intimidating. The micro-aggressions generally go unnoticed by those that commit them. But, can be very hurtful, harmful, and alarming to those that are the recipients.

Micro-aggression can take on many forms and contexts to include actions and comments made in private situations to actions and comments that in public situations are embarrassing spectacles. The workshop reminded me that there is a difference between “intent and impact”. The “intent” of a micro-aggression can be innocent, but that does not mean that its “impact” isn’t inappropriate and viewed as hostile. The micro-aggressions rob its recipients of self-esteem, respect, and confidence

Let’s examine intent of a word or action versus the strong effect or impact that result.

Theme: “Intent versus Impact”

Read Scriptures:

Proverbs 18:21(a), “The tongue has the power of life and death…”

James 3:6, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

The first micro-aggression occurred in the “Garden of Eden”. There the serpent spoke to Adam and Eve with a micro-aggressive comment when the serpent said in Genesis 3:1 “Did God really say…” This statement was meant to cast doubt in the minds of Adam and Eve about God’s character and intentions. The serpent’s comments were meant to rob Adam and Eve of their confidence in Christ. The serpent’s covert implication of God’s untrustworthiness was now in the minds and thoughts of Adam and Eve. It was the serpent’s micro-aggressive comment that had a false implied intent of being helpful to Adam and Eve, but it had a devastating impact to all mankind.

In the serpent’s attempt to intentionally deceive Adam and Eve by stating something that was in contrast to what God had stated, the intent of the statement had an impact that led to the death of relationship with God. That exchange between the serpent, and Adam and Eve has had a strong effect or impact that is still being suffered today. So, be careful of what you say and what comments you accept because the tongue, as stated in Proverbs 18:21(a) can indeed bring life and death.


For further reflection read scripture Genesis 3:1-4, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman


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