Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hurtful Words

Please forgive me. I never meant to hurt your feelings.

Why are these words so hard to say and hurtful words fly out of our mouths like gushing waters.

My Devotional for Wednesday January 3rd, 2007

I find myself at times trying to defend myself when people attack me for no reason, with not so nice words. When I get hurt, I want to hurt others; I need to learn to be slow to speak. If I am tempted to fight back with hurtful words, I need to be the person that walks away. If it is someone in my family, I need to be the one that closes my mouth and stops the hurt. If it is someone outside my family, it is best for me to not be around the person causing me pain. This will help me from saying things that I guess, are true, but really don't have to be said. I was reminded of these passages today.

James 3:5-6 - It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

Proverbs 10:21–"The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment."–Lord, may my lips nourish people today.

Psalm 17:3–Today I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

Philippians 4:8–Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, may I think on these things today.

James 1:19–Help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Our tongue can do so much damage. It can ruin friendships, cause misunderstandings, put a wall between brothers and sisters. I have been guilty of saying hurtful things. I must be ever mindful that what I say can damage and cause divisions – and therefore not to speak critically. A lot of what I say is probably best left unsaid.

I have also been hurt by hurtful words – some more than others. In many cases the damage is so deep that it takes a long time to heal – in some cases I don't know if I will ever heal. But I know that if I belong to Jesus, He can heal me as I surrender it to Him. Nothing is impossible for Him to heal – if I allow Him too. I know of many adults that are caring around scares from childhood. We need to deal with these things. The hurt gets buried deep, but God has a way of bringing it to the surface. These people turn around and hurt the people that love them the most. They build a wall around themselves so people can't get close to them. I just know that I need to free my own mouth from hurtful and damaging words. It’s painful, to rid ourselves of people like this but needful to truly be healed and set free from the affects of negative, hateful words.

The saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’, is not true, and in-fact it’s quite the opposite. Bones can heal a whole lot faster than words spoken over us. I just need to work on this for the coming year.

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips. - Psalm 141:3

Heal us, Lord, from painful words
That was spoken in the past
Let your love replace the hurt
And overflow our hearts.

-M.S.Lowndes

18 comments:

Barb said...

"You protect me by your presence from what people plan against me. You shelter me from evil words." Psalm 31:20

I've been very wounded by words in my lifetime. It's the hardest thing in the world to forgive the person who spoke the words. But I know from experience it's the only way to get over it.

This is a very thought-provoking post, Lori.

Jeannine said...

In the past I was the one doing the hurting.
When I was quite young I had a very traumatizing experience and I thought "Never again will anyone be able to hurt me like this - I will hurt them first". Well I did not exactly think that at the time, but that is what my "subconscious mind at the time" translated into.
So I collected faults. I figured out how I could hurt people the most and if it looked like they were going to hurt me, I struck first.
What a terrible thing!
It took me a very long time to "grow out of it", to learn to not go into the offensive straight away. It took a lot of strength, effort and prayer to actually let anyone come close.
To the day my husband sometimes has to take cover but that is mainly due to the mood swings I have because of my illness.
But I do sometimes catch myself thinking about what I could say or do to hurt someone - I do catch myself though.
I have also grown somewhat tolerant of others hurting me with words.
Most of the time, people don't mean what they say and if you read between the lines and/or take the time to find out why they said what they said (for instance talk to them in a calm manor, not antagonizing but cool and friendly) what they meant to say or why they said it the way they did usually surfaces.
You could say, I know from experience, that mostly people say hurtful things because they a) just don't get that what they said might have hurt someone else's feelings because they don't stop to consider that it might affect others differently from them or b) they have problems and lashing out is their way of dealing with them or not-dealing with them as the case might be.
My overall point of this is:
Words are just words until we ourselves give them meaning.

Revee said...

Great words, Lori! I really enjoyed this post.

Linda said...

Words are so powerful. It has been difficult for me to really and truly control all the words that come out of my mouth. I know how important it is. I continue to pray that I the Holy Spirit would put a guard on my tongue.
Wonderful post

Linda said...

I made a mistake - there should be no "I" before the word Holy Spirit. My goodness but I'm a dummy when it comes to typing correctly!!

Morning Glory said...

I have been so guilty of speaking without thinking in the past. It took me a lot of years to learn that hard lesson, but God really does help us with these things. This was a good reminder to continue striving for verbal control as time goes by. Thanks for writing this.

Pamela said...

Oh Lori, I would much rather be hit with a belt than have to listen to hurtful words, and you know they don't mean it!

It's like that double edged sword is aimed at themselves just as much as the ones they are attempting to hurt.

My prayer is for peaceful constraint, courage and control, and well thought out conversations.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

Verbal abuse is worse than physical, it hurst the heart. I too have been hurt, I have never been one to intentionally hurt anyone though, although I might have thought of ways to take revenge, thankfully I never have. But I am amazed how some people that is all they do, is gush out hurtful words, I work opposite shifts of someone like that, I am soooooooooo thankful

Carol said...

It is really hard to hold your tongue when you and loved ones have and are being verbally abused...My daughter who is now a 27 was constantly taunted and abused by others because of her physically disabilty and still is today, she handles it so much better than I do and often she will just smile, whilst me on the other hand, being the protective mum I am sometimes a bit of a spitfire ; I have to work at my anger towards these people who are hurtful...and pray for them to become more compassionate to the well being of others; oh yes, I also pray that I control my anger, towards them..

trinitystar said...

Lori,
Great post ... reminding us all how it is so easy for words to come out.

Your tongue lives a wet place thats why words slip out.

We all need to think before we speak ... think will these words feed the fire.

be like water
clear
light
and douse the fire.
hugs for you.

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