You’ve felt the sting of careless words before.
The blade of a rude word that cuts your heart to bits.
It’s not fun to admit but you’ve probably uttered hurtful words too.
It’s time to put the weapon of cruel and nitpick-y words down and help others do the same.
Because how can we have fellowship and restoration if we’re insult slingers?
Like my garden hose, the matter of words is a tangled mess.
Because well intentioned people like to chime in…
“Let it go. Let those words roll off your back like water.”
“Ah just toughen up.”
“You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself.”
“Sticks and stones…”
That’s all well and good but don’t you think we ought to work this out together? No matter how nice becoming a hermit in Antartica sounds, we’ll always be surrounded by people. We must work through grievances with one another.
And if we’re honest with ourselves and have even a shred of sensitivity some words will never be okay for us to receive.
Sure, we’re not able to control what other people say, but we can speak up for what is true, right, and kind.
We can let others know how we feel when they’ve just crushed us with words.
But here’s the key…
Don’t speak angrily out of your hurt. Speak honestly out of it.
Some people absolutely mean to jab you where it hurts; they’re awful on purpose.
Others are clueless that their words are insensitive towards you.
If you’re nursing a word wound, start your conversation with an open heart and let them know how you feel. If the other person didn’t mean to offend it’s likely they’ll seek quick resolution with you.
If they don’t seem too apologetic, lean in gently. Keep digging for the root of their slander. You might be able to sense if it’s fear, doubt, insecurity, frustration, confusion. It might surface sooner or later through a mild tempered conversation and perhaps you can even help them grasp healing and freedom from what entangles them.
Have you ever asked others if what you say cause them pain? Try it. Offer a heartfelt apology when necessary.
It’s within your power to lay down the weapon of caustic words and speak life instead.
Remember: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24
Image cc via Clément