God reminds me in the book of Proverbs and many other places in the Word that my words can be helpful or hurtful. I always want my words to be helpful, however I am quite aware, that sometimes my words hurt. And usually, more times, than not, they hurt the people I love the most.
I don’t set out to be hurtful, but I have always been the type of person that whatever thoughts are in my head, they usually roll right off my tongue and out my lips before I have thought them through. My mother had a hard time with me growing up, because I was not very tactful and it took me years of squashing my thoughts before I could reign in the toxicity of my words.
That old phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is something I was taught to say and even believed until I realized how much words really do hurt. And if you hear hurtful, heated, hateful words spewed at you one too many times, pretty soon, they become who you are. I know because I have seen it first hand and lived through how hurtful words can be to your self esteem and your self worth.
And children are always blamed for being cruel, but really, where do children learn most things…you got it, from their parents or adults in their lives. Children also learn how to love and live happy lives.
Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)
24 Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
If we don’t start at home, with our children, grandchildren and young adults in our sphere of influence and teach them how to speak and live, how can we expect the world to become any better. I know I struggle from time to time with this as well.
Because I know firsthand, how words can hurt, I do my very best to not be that person that spews without thinking and I can tell you that when my words fly out of my mouth without thinking, the conviction from the Holy Spirit is so strong that I have to find whomever I have offended and ask for forgiveness. You know what the crazy part is though, people downplay it. They will say things, ‘like it’s no big deal’, or “no worries”, but that’s when they just don’t get it. I not only ask for their forgiveness, I won’t accept it’s no big deal or no worries. Sometimes I have to explain it to them why I won’t. You see, at the end of the day, I don’t answer to them, I answer to God. And the end of my life, I don’t answer to people, I answer to God for everything I have ever said or done.
I know I am forgiven already by God and I know he keeps no records, but I want to be a representation of who Jesus is, not who He isn’t. If people see me spewing words about without regard, that’s not very loving.
Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I am God’s creation, His masterpiece! So why do I compare myself to others or worry about what they think?? Because I am human, and sometimes as a human being, I forget that one simple TRUTH. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I want my words to be soothing and encouraging and loving and merciful and I know the only way that happens is because I have the Holy Spirit living in me and HE is my filter. When my thoughts aren’t his, I have to stop them dead in their tracks and hold them captive (a good friend reminded me of that) and not let them become words.
It is my prayer that as God continues to work in me, that I will learn to think before I speak and speak only loving and kind words, words that build up and do not tear down, words that give hope and not heartache. May God bless each and every person that reads this and thank you for spending time with me today.