Words, I just love writing them with beautiful ink on exquisite paper. I like to experiment with different fonts on the iPad, or when writing them out on paper, see if I can give them extra character with a little flourish here or added post there. Words can contain such beauty when spoken and written with kindness and love. Words can mend broken relationships, heal broken hearts, and express our undying love.
If used carelessly, however, they have the power to damage something priceless, the very center of the heart, of who we are, the soul. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me, we have no doubt sung this at one time or another, usually followed by the very mature “na-nuh, na-nuh, na-nuh.” Really, how cool were we when we spat those words at someone who was trying to belittle us with their unkind words? Usually, those uncaring words were in reference to the new haircut that mom said “no one will notice that it’s a little off” or, better yet, the dress that grandma sent that was “darling.” Well, evidently they didn’t remember second grade, because they both lied.
Today this adage doesn’t ring as true as it did in 1832. Words can be far more damaging than a broken bone. Bones heal, but the wounds that are caused by harsh words often become infected and left uncared for can leave a person debilitated to some degree. On the outside, we can see the physical scars of old wounds, but we all carry scars from the language someone used as weapons to do us harm.
Words hold such power, such depth that kingdoms have been lost, families have been torn apart, and lives destroyed. The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the human body; the Bible says it is mightier than a double-edged sword. So we must treat our words with the care we would any other weapon.
I have been guilty of spewing words out of anger and frustration, and it is true that once you give them breath, you can’t take them back. If convicted of the damage you’ve done, you offer words of remorse, and maybe kindness, in hopes of healing the pain you have inflicted, but again, when you have given words breath, you cannot take them back.
This, my dear, is where grit and grace are needed. We need to have the grit to own our unkind words, to have the grace to forgive ourselves when we have used our words as weapons, as well as, the grace to forgive those who have used their tongue as a sword against us.
You’ll like this episode of our podcast: Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028
You’ll also like When a Strong Woman is Quitting, but Not Failing, Overcoming Shame in the Grit and Grace Life, 5 Tips for Mending Fences in Your Relationships, 3 Ways Positive Self-Talk Can Improve Your Life, If You’re in a Hard Season, It’s Time to Speak Life, and Grace is Not Weakness; It Requires Strength.