Monday, September 7, 2009

Hurtful Words, Healing Words - Part I

Have you ever considered the fact that every word you say—every word—has the power to either hurt or heal?

That may sound a little exaggerated, but it's true. A misspoken word here, a sarcastic quip there can hardly hurt a marriage, you think. When your mate makes a snide comment about the burnt toast at breakfast, it can't be held against you if you snipe back that he never seems to notice when his toast is made to perfection. Tit for tat can't do harm. Right? Think again.

Imagine gathering at your favorite coffee shop for a latte. It is filled with your favorite people, your best friends. The room is filled with laughter and chatting. You join in, telling a joke or two. While you don't take yourself or them too seriously, you also understand a very important truth: every word spoken has the power to hurt or heal, and can never be taken back. Knowing this, you're prepared with your best behavior.

Walking, biking or jogging with your friends, and later sitting over your hot drink, you never think of chiding your friends for their behavior. You never think of ridiculing them. You think twice, or even three times, before offering unsolicited advice. You're never sarcastic. You don't shoot passive-aggressive barbs. You know this thoughtless action destroys prized friendships.

You leave your friends feeling energized, excited and ready to face the day. Somewhere between this enlivening encounter and home to your mate, something changes. The rules change. Whereas with your friends you know you must follow certain protocol—practicing manners and gentle respect-- or be forever banned from The Circle, something changes on your way into your driveway. Somewhere between the car and the door to your home, you become lax. You let down your guard. You slip into a lazy, disrespectful attitude, and a close inspection of the words you speak shows up.

If you're like millions of others, you hardly greet your mate when you enter the house. You throw your coat on the couch and grab something to soothe your jagged nerves. Maybe it's a drink, the evening paper, the controls to a computer game—anything. But, because of the great divide between you and your mate, you don't look to him to offer soothing, understanding words.

Fairly quickly your mate says something that is slightly offensive, and the war of words begins. Not nice words. Not encouraging words. Not words that build up or build a bridge between the two of you. No, these are hurtful words.

Psalm 19:14 says this, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

We can't control what others let sneak out of their mouths, but we can control what comes out of our own! Stay tuned for Part II of this devotional thought, courtesy of Kristy Freels.

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team