“You’re terrible. You’ll never be good enough. Stop trying! You can’t do it!” As an older brother, you think these words coming from my younger brother would mean nothing! That was only a lie though. He constantly bullied me, knocking me down and discouraging me. I didn’t know what to do. Even when I lashed out and hit him, it didn’t change the fact that I was still hurting inside. I would lie down and talk to my mom, “I’m terrible. He says, “I’m terrible, so I am!” She always tried to encourage me, but it only covered some of the pain. People don’t realize how painful their words are. Each word was like a knife, stabbing at my heart; it was slowly killing me. I don’t think hearing hurtful things ever gets easier, but knowing the truth healed many wounds and the wounds to come. I dealt with depression and had anger for many years but one day, I found love. Someone noticed how down I was and began to lift me up with encouragement and tell me about Jesus. That’s when I noticed a change and decided I wanted to help others. Don’t hold onto the hurtful words and don’t let it lead to suicide or damaging things. There’s always words filled with life that can conquer the death. Listen to JESUS when you hear satan whispering in your ear. I promise you, there’s light in the darkness! I found mine, so you can too!
I love this testimony, to me personally it is almost related to the previous post – as in it is important to know and understand and believe what God has written about us and our identity. And because the Bible mirrors our identity as beautiful, special and valuable we should not feel anything less and therefore not feel rejected. However, the testimony above also reminded me of a topic I covered during Bible study with my girls a while ago (shout out to Drea F and Elizabeth D).
Part 1: The Power of the Tongue…Mind Your Words
It’s a shame that in today’s world, words come out of our mouth loosely. We say things without thinking about how the words we use may affect the people we talk to or change the atmosphere of our surroundings.
We forget that the tongue and the words that come out of it have the power to bless and curse; edify and breakdown; encourage and discourage. It can also bring life and death as well as righteousness and evil. Words are such a powerful tool…basically the way you master your tongue is no different to how you will master your life… Let’s just pause and reflect how we used our tongue today towards our close ones and work colleagues.
2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, [c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. – James 3:2-13
From the passage above we can understand that an untameable tongue is a source of hell itself. Verse 6 conveys to us that a mouth which is not guarded potentially can cause destruction and division amongst people… (wives and husbands – be careful!). It is important to think and ask ourselves if what we need to say has a purpose, to ask ourselves whether it is true or not. Is it necessary? Is it kind?
No matter how fantabulous your relationship with God is, or how spiritual you think you are, we could all control our speech and the words we use more effectively.