There are several verses in the Bible that remind us that there is such power in the tongue. A few of those are as follows:
Matthew 12:36-37 ESV
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Proverbs 21:23 ESV
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Death and life are in the power of the tongue …
Recently, my family and I have witnessed people tearing others down with their words as well as others who used their words to, instead, build others up. Which type of person would you like to be around? Which type of person are YOU?
If you have ever been on the receiving end of harsh words, you know the pain that this inflicts and the damage it can do to someone’s confidence and self-esteem. It doesn’t feel good at all, and the person that is lashing out would do themselves and everyone else around them a huge favor if they would pause for a moment and consider how they would feel if someone spoke such words to and over them.
Oh, there is such power in the tongue!
I am not sure who came up with the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” because this couldn’t be further from the truth. We can be as confident as we can with the full armor of God on, and yet when someone launches an attack on us, on our character, and on our family, it DOES hurt a great deal. When this happens to us, when we are on the receiving end of harsh words, I just look the person in the eyes while I am silent. My silence should not be mistaken for weakness but of great strength to resist saying anything negative or harsh in return. Instead, I consider the source, where this is coming from, and if this person might just be having a bad day. While this certainly does not excuse it, it does help to not take on what others say about you or to you. We could get all bent out of shape, upset, mad, angry, and just down in the dumps about it. OR, consider the source and know who you truly are – that is going to make the biggest difference! No matter what anyone else says about you, hold your head up high because YOU are a child of the Most High God!
We cannot change how someone talks to us or how they treat us as that is a reflection of their heart and their character. We do not have to subject ourselves to this treatment, especially if this person has proven to be a repeat offender. It will do us good to forgive them because holding on to a grudge does nothing to hurt the others, but carrying it around with us, allowing it to fester inside, will cause bitterness to grow within us. Let it go! It’s easier said than done at times, but if you can begin to forgive those that hurt you, you will find such freedom! Ask God for help in this area. He WILL help you. I promise! Also, if you feel that someone has offended you so much that you just cannot possibly forgive, please take it before the Lord daily, several times a day if you can, and ask God to help you in this area. Try praying FOR this person. I know if someone offends you or hurts you it is so incredibly hard to do. Your flesh wants to rise up, but instead, take it to the Lord in prayer asking for His help. The first time you begin praying for this person, you may do so through gritted teeth. Continue to pray any way! As you take it before the Lord each time, you will find that it gets easier and easier until one day you will actually truly mean the words that you speak over this person and their life. You will find that you have forgiven them with the Lord’s help and you have been able to overcome the feelings that you harbored in your heart against them. You will have been able to release the hold this all had on you, and you will be FREE!! Prayer works, and it changes things! The next time you see this person, you will not feel those same feelings rise up inside of you. Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to be best friends with someone that has been a repeat offender, but I am saying that forgiveness is a wonderful gift that we can give ourselves!
We know one thing for sure, we cannot control another person. However, let this be a lesson to you. Consider how you felt, and then promise that you will take a moment when you feel like lashing out at someone. Instead, breathe in deeply, hold it for a moment, or count to ten, whatever you have to do to maintain control so that you do not speak harsh words to anyone in anger. God will help you maintain control and not give your power away! Take a step back, even call a “time out” if you need to while agreeing to come back together at another time to continue the conversation. Do what you need to in order to take care of yourself.
Is this always easy? No … This may be one of the hardest things in taming your own tongue, but when you are tempted to lose it, consider how YOU have felt when others have hurt you with their words. That in itself should be enough to help you not to harm another in the same way that you have been hurt.
There is such power in the tongue – will you speak words of encouragement and positives over someone, or will you attempt to tear someone down and injure them with your words?
Join us for Inspire Me Monday with Angie Ryg.