Careless words stab like a sword, but the words of wise people bring healing.~Proverbs 12:18 NCV
Harsh or careless words have crushed us all.
We are told that if what is said is untrue, it should be like “water off a duck’s back.”—that whatever is untrue should not penetrate us, but merely bead up and roll off.
If we aren’t prepared and our armor is not cinched tightly, those fiery barbs manage to get in and bore their way all the way down to our hearts. Those things that are said are often carried with us for decades, and they can taint every relationship and even our future and hope.
The unvarnished truth is those who hurt us are not the only purveyors of wounding words. We wound others with our words, too.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.~James 3:6a NKJV
His name was Bruce.* He sat behind me in an office so small he could have pulled my ponytail as easily as grabbing for a paper clip. We had a lighthearted friendship. He was twenty-five years my senior and enjoyed teasing me as he would have a kid sister.
One day I shared with him something I was planning to do. He thought it was quite surprising, and he began to tease me about it. After a week of what felt like endless ribbing and my asking nicely for him to stop, I’d had enough. He came at me with one more teasing statement, and my retaliation for his verbal paper airplane assault was a comparative sixty-two metric ton tank.
It was two short sentences so finely tuned that they hit their target and took him down at once. The eye crinkles of his impish grin melted, and his face dropped. Instantly I felt intense regret.
No sooner had the words left my lips than I wanted to reel them all back in like so many yards of fishing line. I just wanted the teasing to stop, but I ended up crushing the spirit of a dear friend.
Have you wounded with your words? Ask God to forgive you. Has someone wounded you with words? Forgive them.
Father God, help me to weigh my words carefully, and thank You for forgiving me for those times I have not done so. I repent. I forgive others for the words they have spoken against me. I ask You to bless them. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Careless Words: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved