In the last week…I have gladly given the better half of several of my days praying for and listening to three friends I deeply care about who have been devastated by other people’s words. They are all females who range in age from 20 to 52. As I listened and watched…all three, independent of each other, I felt so nauseated most of the time and at points…I felt anger hotly rushing over my face.
The red swollen eyes on each face had a constant stream of tears flowing and the noses were equally flowing as the pain had to find a way out. I was watching, just sitting there looking at “dead women”. Somehow they were still breathing. They were softly talking…quietly…sobbing…. but emotionally DEAD. I have never in my life been so aware of how WORDS KILL as I have been in the last couple of days. I don’t like violent movies at all…..but the violence I heard these women have endured through words….as I listened to them retell the scenes, it was like the worst kind of “Horror movie!” All three were victims of close family members stabbing them with the “dagger of the tongue” filled with the poison of RAGE!
Honestly, I know I have killed with words in my life…..when I think about it, it makes me equally as nauseated! It humbles me that I serve a God who forgives and has so broken my heart over my tongue. He causes me to daily spend time turning over my tongue to Him begging God to evoke self-control over me so that I can no longer…ever be a “murderer!”
It is God and God alone who can equip anyone with power over their tongue! I can say from experience how important it is to gain control over that “tiny red muscle” which is powerful enough to kill hundreds of people at one time or someone twice your size. It packs the power of a semi-automatic! So many places in Scripture address the “tongue,” “words,” and their “power!”
God forgives. I am so thankful to know His forgiveness is quick and forever. It is available to anyone who asks. We have to keep in mind that…God knows our hearts and whether or not we are sincere…in our request. I think we all tend to think that we can give God a “head fake” when we ask for forgiveness foolishly without understanding…God judges the heart!
Proverbs 21:2, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” God wants a “heart change” and a sincere turning from our ways. For a sincere heart, it is comforting to have the reassurance of forgiveness. But for me….there is a sadness that lingers. I have to live with knowing…”words,” once spoken, are tattooed forever on the receiver of those words. Scars sometimes that are evident and lasting and cannot be removed.
The “law of reaping and sowing” takes over….natural consequences of our sin…The sin? A lack of self-control when we lash out in our anger. The consequences can be as severe as a “deleted” relationship with someone f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
God is clear in His Word–be angry but sin not (see Ephesians 4:26). God understands we all possess the emotion of anger….but we all have access to a Holy God who enables us to develop patience, self-control, gentleness, kindness, goodness…..these are known as the “fruits of the spirit” found in Galatians 5:22-23.
To develop these fruits of the spirit takes intention and effort on our part….like working out in the gym. A daily intention of getting on the “treadmill” of reading His Word, lifting the “weights” of prayer, and the “sweat” of choosing self-control. It is in these daily strenuous efforts on our part….that victory over the tongue can be found.
Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit…” Choose today to be freed from the prison of the tongue. Realize it is a self-imposed prison! WE can be free…a forgiven murderer…….! Proverbs 19:1, “Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a FOOL whose lips are perverse.” As a Christian it is a big COP OUT to have the mindset of…”Oh, I get angry sometimes but everyone does!”
I recently spoke to a group of women about taking the challenge to “become comfortable with being UNCOMFORTABLE”. As a Christian….that means not doing what everyone else is doing by excusing bad behavior just because we are “human!” It is time that we as Christians start developing our “muscles” as Christians…to step out of the comfort zone of excuses and “walk off the cliff” of our own understanding and follow a Holy God who “walked on water,” “turned water into wine” and “rose from the grave on the third day.”
We can live in victory over the power of the tongue. Victorious living is rewarding…we must make the choice to step out and step up and “walk the talk!’
Reply to your 11/03/14 post:
Sherry Bradshaw, I was compelled to read every single word!
Just this month I’ve been the receiver of brutal words…. So I was anxious to read how I could justify “rolling in my self pitying hurt.” But no! I had to own my OWN brutality… my own exercising of the cutting tongue.
Thanks for reminding me that our Forgiving Daddy is only concerned about MY heart… He wants ME free from MY sin. I still struggle with that uncomfortable place you mentioned above. I just can’t seem to feel the victory most of the time.