A tremendous life lesson that I have learned this year is the impact and responsibility that I have in the words that I say.
It is and always will be my decision whether or not my words bring life or death.
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
I have been the one who has given way to both death and life. Though for a long time I allowed the sickness of my past and the pain of my hurts to taint the way I spoke to others. I rationalized in my own head that such negative speak was tolerable from me because I have been hurt deeply. A hypocrite, I judged harshly those who would speak to me in the same manner, caustically labeling those who looked just like me.
Matthew 15:18 “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
I knew what it was to hurt others with my words; it was one way that I kept others away. My verbal lashes kept people away from my heart, away from the things that I truly thought and away from knowing me. These harsh words were leaving those closest to me with the most hideous of mortal wounds…with no one else to blame but the one who held the mechanism of damage…there was no other option than to hold up the mirror.
Colossians 3:8 “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
In the last several years I have been given relationships that have shown me a parallel of my own actions and exposed the type of person I wish to be no longer. Other relationships that have shown me the blessing of who I want to be, through those relationships I was convicted of my decision (or lack thereof at the time) to bring life to those around me with the use of my words. I no longer held pride in the fact that my words could cut down another…instead I started to feel shame when I walked this path.
Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Not only did I recognize the destruction of relationship that the choices I made continued to cause…I began to be aware of and feel within me the depth of the pain that I harbored when someone else spoke to me in the same manner or did the same thing to me…and I ached to be done with it. My heart broke for the pain that I caused others…I wanted it no more…
James 3:8 “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
I remember when I stopped fighting back with my words…I can absolutely recall when I deliberately put down the verbal cat-o’-nine-tails. I have vivid memories in my mind of the look of distrust as I faced one whom I had hurt many times with my words and instead of my normal sarcastic and cutting remarks, they were met with my unwillingness to engage in the verbal joust. I think on those times and I see how long it has taken (and in some cases time is still needed) for me to take back that ground that so long ago I chose to desecrate in my pain.
Oh, my dear Lord, I need your help.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
My choices for godly thinking today isn’t as hard as it once was, thank God! More often than not, my thinking has been good, right and true. Sometimes I can’t put a lid on my excitement and want to share my blessings with others and I practically tell the world the good news!
…There are times though, when my days feel long, when I am weary of the fight, when I feel like I can’t take another step forward…its then when I reach out to others. When my body and spirit feels worn…my mind feels numb…when I feel like I’m faltering…I reach out and ask for prayers. This week has been a week of reaching out for me…and that’s ok because God gave me people that will pray for me…ones who will stand in the gap when I’m having a hard time enduring without them.
Psalms 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Today I work for…diligently decide to walk toward…and willingly choose…life.
Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
God help me be a blessing to those whose paths I cross…God help me to bring life.