Words, How Do You Use Them?
A devotional by Tammy Karasek
When words are spoken in haste, they can either edify or tear down. Yet once spoken, they cannot be retrieved. Have you ever been hurt by people’s words? I know I have been crushed.
I have one of those memory banks that are both a blessing and a curse. I tend to remember just about everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING — both good and bad. The harder I try to forget the bad, the more it seems to commit to staying. I could probably list more times of hurtful words than my poor writing hand could handle.
Now that I’m much more mature in age, I have been purposely trying to go to those memories and see if the comments were truth or if they were lies. Then those that were not true, prayerfully choose to let the words go. I’ve tried to see where the person was coming from. Some times they were thrown out as an opinion, other times; there may have been slight truth to the comment. I’m sure soon after the person spewed out the harsh comments, they moved on. I, on the other hand, have given those words way too much time replaying in my mind. I’ve realized that the more I’ve held the memory, the more the memory has held me . . . and my heart.
I’m grateful to God those hurtful situations are mostly gone from my memory. But you see it’s the deep hurtful words, the words spoken to the heart by those we love that are the hardest to let go. They were spoken. And sadly, remembered. Yet, through prayer, they can diminish as well.
Recently I read this verse in my daily quiet time with God:
“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you — for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.”
Wow! That’s big.
It tells me to not pay such close attention to every word spoken, because I may hear “cursing” — or hurtful words. Then the second verse says that I know I’ve done this same thing.
Wait, what did that say?
Did that just say that I know I’ve done it, too? No way – not me. I love words. I wouldn’t do that. I know the pain of mean comments, so I for sure wouldn’t do that. Would I? Have I?
Yes, God says I’ve done it, too. Oh, how I did not like reading that. That verse really caught my attention and has made me slow down before I speak too soon. Will the words I’m about to say help or hurt the person. If they may hurt, are they necessary for growth? If not, I don’t say them.
Some words are necessary to hear for our good, but if they’re hurtful and untrue, will you give them to God first? Let Him show you if it was given in truth and something you needed to hear. Do not let them consume your heart.
Harsh and hurtful words are going to be flung at us. That is a guarantee. Yet scripture reminds us that we‘re going to fling ‘em, too.
As I’m learning to “not pay attention to every word people say” as the verse above says, may I encourage you to do the same? And I’m not off the hook either; I also need to remember to not flippantly throw out those possible hurtful words to others.
What are your thoughts on words? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.
You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Tammy’s past filled with bullying and criticism is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and share with them the Reason to smile.
She’s been blissfully wedded to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 36 years, mom to their grown daughter, Kristen and wrapped around the paw of a little puppy named Hattie.