Tough Questions, Part 6: Is It True That “Words Can Never Hurt You”?

“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you.

WRONG!  And I am guilty of it!  For instance, last night, the girls got off the bus and I was running late.  The girls got into a heated discussion about where Mom was.  Then at dinner time, it started all over again over lukewarm soup.  It was not pretty and our words cut like a knife.  Poor Grandpa didn’t know what to think about our family.

After dinner, I was reading James 3 and God’s Word is sharper than a two-edged sword. Let’s take a look at verses 5-10.

5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Karen Ehman— a woman whose words have often landed her in a heap of trouble— shares from experience the how’s (and how-not-to’s) of dealing with the tongue in her new book and video Bible Study, Keep It Shut. Using biblical examples, as well as Karen’s own personal (and sometimes painful!) stories, Keep It Shut will equip you to know what to say, how best to say it, and when you’d better just keep your lips zipped!

One of things she teaches in her book is:  How to avoid saying something permanently painful just because you are temporarily ticked off

“For out of the mouth, the heart speaks.”  Luke 6:45

Once again, it is a heart issue.  I’m so busted!  I don’t know about you but I need to ask God daily to give me a heart that is pleasing to Him.  In fact, every morning at 6:30 this verse is set to pop on my phone:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Karen Ehman suggests we ask ourselves:

What areas do you need a little help with your language?

Work situations
Relationship with my husband
Relationship with my kids
Dealing with neighbors
Extended family situations
When talking with other parents
At church
Online
Friendships (either longtime friends or newer ones)
When dealing with people I see throughout my day: at the grocery store, the bank, the coffeehouse, etc.
Other _______________________________________________

Now go back and note the one or two areas where you most feel God may be prompting you to change how you behave when it comes to your speech.

 

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