I have a heart that wants to love, share, give, help, nurture and teach. My heart wants others to feel cared for and valued. I am a sucker for little kids and buying anything they sell and wanting them to feel special. I want to do anything I can to help them achieve success in what they are doing. Because I am like this, I have always had a hard time accepting people not caring and people being cruel to one another. I know that a lot of people say, “Well, nothing surprises me anymore.” But inwardly I must say that cruelty still surprises me. I still don’t understand why anyone could be cruel to someone else.
Because I grew up in an environment that had a lot of injustice, you would think that I would have gotten used to it. But, I will never understand why someone would hurt a child. Even though I suffered from it, I will never accept it or be okay with it. It is never okay to hurt a child or anyone else for that matter. Jesus even said, “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hug around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6
I made my mind up when I was a little girl that I would never intentionally hurt my children physically. I also knew how much words hurt so I made up my mind that I would not hurt them with my words either. You can hurt someone just as much with your words as you can with your hands. There are words that someone says to you in anger that never leave your mind, especially when you are told those words over and over again. Your mind starts believing what they are saying and that starts a lifetime of believing things that aren’t true.
I have been hurt far more with words and evil intent than anything else in my life. I was beat down almost every day of my life when I was growing up by ugly words and evil actions. But, when I accepted Christ and started learning there was a different way to live, I started realizing that God’s word was bringing me words of truth and life. But, I had a battle on my hands because my environment was still the same and ugly words were still being spoken. When someone speaks destructive words into your life all the time, you start to believe them about yourself.
My mind had been damaged by all the critical and negative talk given to me by my father. I can turn on myself so quickly and tell myself how worthless I am. It has been a battle to overcome. It is so easy for me to think in a negative way about myself. “Idiot” is my favorite term for myself and if I am honest for others as well. I don’t say it to their face, but I say it in my mind or to others. It is so easy to get wrapped up in negativity! I forget sometimes and then it hits me what I have just said or thought. WOW! Sometimes it is easier to be negative than positive. One of the best rules of living is from the movie Bambi. Thumper is being reminded by his mother what he has been taught. “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
Words can be life giving or life sucking and I feel like we need to be on the life giving end of it and I know that the Lord wants us to be on that end as well. Proverbs 15:4 “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Please listen to me! We have to get a hold of our tongues and not let them crush others. It has taken me years to overcome all the words that have been said to me and I know I am not the only one out there! We need to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. We have got to get a hold of our tongues and make sure they are spewing life giving words. We have to be careful what we say to others!
I am speaking to myself just as much as I am speaking to you. I have said ugly things that I regret. It takes discipline and it takes determination to speak kindly to others and even to ourselves. My self-talk can get pretty ugly. I can tear myself to shreds in sixty seconds or less. Does the Lord want me to do that to myself? No, He doesn’t. Does He want me to do that to others? No, He doesn’t. We need to value ourselves and others so we can support one another!
We just need to think before we speak. Proverbs 13:3 “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” I realize that we can’t be perfect. There are mean and cruel people out there that make us angry and we want to attack back. I get it! I have been in too many of those situations. I was assaulted on a daily basis for years. But, I learned that it didn’t do any good to respond in anger and say things that I would regret later. I had to pray a lot and wait at least ten seconds before I responded. Now, there were many times that I failed miserably, but when I responded with the help of the Holy Spirit it made me take the high road and not the low road. The Holy Spirit controlled my tongue and I was able to walk away feeling good about what I said.
There are some people out there that are never going to understand what we are saying and never agree with us. We need to be okay with that. There are some people I have had to distance myself from because their words were too toxic for me to handle. I have also encountered people whose hearts were so cold that even if I begged them to listen to me or understand me, it didn’t matter. I had to walk away from them and pray.
The bottom line is our hearts have a lot to do with what we say. Matthew 15:8 says, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” This means that when our hearts are hurt, broken, angry, or frustrated, we are more likely to say things that aren’t going to be good. That is why we need to think before we speak and ask the Holy Spirit to help us in those difficult situations. We need to realize that our words can have lasting effects on people and we want those to be good. We have to stand before the Lord someday and I don’t want to get scolded for my tongue! I want my words to be pleasing to the Lord. There is enough hurt in the world today. I pray that all of us would choose the high road and speak words of encouragement and life to one another. Until next time dear friends…
Psalm 19:4 “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”