“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NIV
We’ve all heard it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. We repeated this rhyme over and over as children, and we desperately wanted to believe it. Sadly, we were only fooling ourselves, and adopting a false notion that words are meaningless.
Have you ever been injured by someone’s words? Have you ever been the one doing the injuring? If we’re honest with ourselves, I’m sure most people have found themselves on both ends of the spectrum. At least, I know I have.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV says this:
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
When I was younger, I would never think twice about what I said. Sometimes I wouldn’t even think once. I prided myself on being unfiltered and honest to the core. While that can be admirable under most circumstances, this can be detrimental to everyone around me if I don’t harness the words I say or the way that I say them.
This is such a difficult thing to tame. Words can fly out of my mouth and damage another person in seconds flat. Sadly, the wound left behind is invisible, and it’s difficult to see the long term effects.
Verbal abuse is real, and it is a serious problem. I’ve been both victim and perpetrator in this issue. I don’t like to admit that, but this is real and I promised transparency in this blog. I’m being vulnerable here in the hope that this will inspire discussion and greater awareness.
It is my prayer that the church can stand strong and united here. We will be held accountable for our words one day. I want to look at my life and see that my words brought life and healing to everyone they touched. I can’t change what I’ve said in the past, but I can make great effort in the future to guard my mouth and speak life into every situation I face.
Make a pact with me today. Let’s put an end to verbal abuse and commit to the following:
From this day forward, I will do my best to…
- Always be truthful
- Always think before I speak
- Refrain from speaking in a harsh or rude tone of voice
- Stop belittling, mocking, insulting, and name calling
- Always speak life giving words
- Always confront verbal abuse with authority and kindness
It’s a challenge to change the way you speak. It’s the activity you probably do most aside from breathing. It is possible though, with help from God. We can create a culture of honor that always seeks to build one another up with our speech rather than tearing one another down.
Stand with me sisters! Let’s put the cutting to an end and start healing instead!