Thursday, February 23, 2017

Words Hurt...But they don't have to

We have all been the victim of nasty words from someone else. We have also all been the one to use nasty words toward someone else. Either way, words hurt. The Bible speaks many times about words and the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." You can either speak life giving words or words that cause "death".

This whole blog post came from a recent encounter I had with someone. This person seems very nice and sweet. I have probably spoken to the person twice in a few years. Always cordial greetings of "how are you?" "you look nice"...etc. This person decided to personally attack me on a social media platform.

Admittedly, I cried. I was devastated that someone who barely knew me could think so little of me. I was hurt that they chose to publicly humiliate me instead of coming directly to me and asking me about the subject of their complaint. My husband was even angrier than I was. He is a protector. I love that about him.

I spent the day after this situation happened in prayer and reading my Bible. God put it on my heart to pray for this person. Pray that they would see the hurt they caused and to repent. I also prayed that I would truly forgive them in my heart. It is easier said than done.

God answered my prayer and that person apologized. I accepted the apology. I pray that there was true repentance but I am not the judge of that. I immediately got on my knees and praised God for His unfailing love. I thanked Him for giving me peace about the whole situation.

The bottom line is: words DO hurt others. We don't know what someone else is going through. Even if we do know, we should still guard our tongues. We should speak life of others and to others. This person may not be aware that I am going through a VERY difficult time in my life. I am about to have major surgery that is very dangerous and I am scared. I know God is taking me through this but I am still having difficulty with the actual surgery.

In Matthew 15:18, we learn that "..what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart..." Sometimes, the words others speak to us is a reflection of their own hearts. If they are going through a hard time they may choose to take it out on you (or anyone who comes across their path at the wrong time). If we start to think about hurtful situations in this way, it will help us to better understand others as well.

Proverbs 15:1 also tells us that "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." My understanding of this is, even if others throw darts your way with their words, do not get angry. I say this because Matthew 12:37 also tells us "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Yikes! That scares me a little. We will be condemned for our words. That makes me really want to watch every word I ever say.

My final thoughts on this are this: always be kind to one another. Always show the love of Christ. Be a witness to others by the words you speak. In Psalm 19:14 we read "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Before you say anything, think about if it would be pleasing to God.

And, remember, God doesn't want you to be hurt because of someone else's words. You are made in His image. You are a child of God, loved, redeemed, accepted, sanctified, a new creation, blessed, chosen, holy, blameless, forgiven, and free. You are not anything but what God says you are. If someone attacks you with words, pray for them. Ask God to help them to repent and for you to truly forgive them.

The words that Jesus said on the cross always come to my mind when I pray for those who have hurt me "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do..." (Luke 23:34)

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