Verse of the Day: “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of the sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” ~ Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
Growing up as a child, it was pretty common to hear my mother tell me how proud she was of me. She would gush over each “A” I brought home and tell me how smart I was and that when I grew up I was going to be a doctor or a lawyer. She would tell me that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Sitting on my bed at night, she would gently brush my long hair until all the tangles were out while telling me I was beautiful and how much she loved being my mom……..
Actually, that’s not true….None of it’s true.
My mother was a weapons manufacturer. Her favorite? The sword… And I’m not referring to the Word of God.
She would look at the “A” on my tests and demand to know why it wasn’t an “A+”, and proceed to call me every synonym for the word “unintelligent” that she could think of. *Slice*
And when my sisters and I made her really angry, she would rage and shout that she should’ve had abortions and killed us. *Stab. Right. Through. The. Heart*
But my sisters and I were always there for each other, soothing the wounds that were left in the aftermath. A few hugs, a few kind words, and a few songs sang together made everything right as rain again. We were each other’s balm. The cuts didn’t vanish and there were scars left behind, but it definitely made the healing process a little easier.
Swords are designed to cut, maim, and kill our enemy. That’s why God tells us to use the Holy Bible as our sword when battling Satan. The only problem using a sword? You have to get up close and personal to use it.
Would you pick up a sword and swing it at a checkout clerk because someone in the parking lot took your parking space? Would you hug your friend and stab them in the back because you heard a rumor that she said something mean about you? Would you pick up a sword and thrust it through your child’s heart because they are not the perfect miniature adult you want them to be? That is what we do every time we spread rumors and gossip, or spout off words out of anger, spite, jealousy, or just plain carelessness.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of someone’s sword swing at some point . Some wounds have been deeper than others’, but they all hurt. Do they not?
The good news is that our words don’t have to be sharp. They don’t have to be wounding. They don’t have to hurt. They don’t have to be deadly. We have the power and grace through Jesus to use our words as a healing balm.
We can send a letter or card to encourage our neighbor who just lost their job. Pick a few great qualities that your child has and point them out and praise them. Share a Bible verse with that church member who is going through a divorce. Lift your pastor and their family up in prayer.
Search Your Heart
If someone followed you around for a day or even a week, which would they say you are most like? The sword? Or soothing balm? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I say hurtful things to others when I’m angry or out of spite?
- Do I ever repeat gossip or rumors?
- When someone hurts my feelings, do I try to hurt theirs in return?
- Do I sincerely apologize when my words have caused someone pain?
- Do I use my words to lift others up?
- Do I encourage those who need to hear a kind word?
Dear Heavenly Father, I may not remember all the times that I have caused someone pain , but I know that You do. Please forgive me for using my words to wound others. Give me the courage, strength, and humility to apologize to others when I hurt them. Help me to use my voice to encourage, soothe, heal, and love others. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.