I have a way with words.
If I speak, I’m heard. If I write, I’m read.
If I encourage, I’m appreciated. If I whisper, I’m understood.
But sometimes, words have a way with me.
If I’m deceived, I hurt. If I’m manipulated, I distance myself.
If I’m inspired, I run full force. If I’m affirmed, I persevere.
At times, I carefully choose words in my head, and dictate how I deliver by mouth, on paper or through a screen.
Words are powerful and intense, because unlike sticks & stones, words can leave lasting, unseen and emotional damage.
Many times, my words build others.
Basic friendships are founded: “Let’s get to know each other.”
Thriving friendships are fed: “You are my friend. Let’s stay friends.”
Close friendships are fueled: “I hurt when you said this…I harmed you when I did this…Let’s work past it. Let’s forgive, forget and move on. I want you in my life.”
Sometimes, my words break others.
I’m often too blunt or careless with how I portray my thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I’m skeptical and opinionated.
I can be misheard and misunderstood based on tone, word choice and delivery.
I often battle myself and bite my tongue when I want to blurt, “That’s mean. You shouldn’t say that.”
Or, “I see you trying to hurt me. Don’t do that.”
Instead, in healthy friendships, I murmur, “Can we talk about this?” And we do.
Communication helps us overcome a bump that if unattended, transform into a mountain.
My words can be a pocket knife or a sword.
A pocket knife is useful tool in various situations:
To clean away dirt, to cut deeper, to defend in a last ditch effort.
A sword is a tactical weapon in combat situations:
To kill and destroy whatever presents harm.
Unfortunately, I tend to be abrasive and protective of others and myself.
Words in my mind and on my heart get the best of me, I defend myself when no one but fear, anxiety and insecurity attack.
This season, I will fast from evil and hurtful speech.
Such speech includes:
- Curse words
- Stinging words against others
- Self-destructive words
- Negative words
- Unintentionally defensive words
My speech usually derives from complex thought processes, which can include hurtful anxieties, so I will also let go of confusion and doubt that can eat my alive.
We are each gifted in different areas.
Sometimes, we contort our strenghts into weaknesses if we’re not careful or aware.
Let’s use our gifts as gifts: blessings to others and ourselves.
And refrain from using them as curses: ways to harm people who love us, tools to inadvertently attack ourselves.
May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and Redeemer. -Psalm 19:14, NIV