I hate her! I wish she would just leave me alone.
Are these words familiar? Where have you heard them? Do they ever float around in your mind or pass your lips?
I’ve heard them many times. Thanks to God for His forgiveness, I’ve spoken them as well. I pray with all my heart that no one else does. Why? Because you never know who’s listening.
Colossians 3:8-10 “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
I can hear the questions now. Why would she say something so mean? She could really do that? Gasp!
For the record, it was before I became a Christian and I was a child but I still remember the day like yesterday. A friend and I had an awful fight and said horrible things to each other with disregard to our audience. It was only a matter of days before the entire school knew what happened. One disagreement turned into another then another and soon, our friendship was a thing of the past.
I agonized over this for years and not because of the lost friendship. Friends come and go, for many reasons, that’s how it goes. No, what hurt me so much was the fact that my former friend died several months later. She was gone in the blink of an eye and I couldn’t say, I’m sorry.
At school, classmates taunted. At home, I cried. I learned the hard way that words have ramifications. They are like two-edged swords and cut both ways. I was bleeding.
Psalm 64:3 “They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.”
It wasn’t until years later, even years after I became a Christian, that the Lord taught me that only He can heal festering wounds. And oh, what a wound that was.
God peeled the old layers of self-hate, recrimination, and guilt away. He bathed it in love, joy, and peace and healed the painful sore. Praise Him for all He has done!
The scar is still there and it serves to remind me of the power of an ill-spoken word. I’m more careful now, not because of guilt or shame but because I know the consequences.
Today, I strive to praise the Lord each day. Love my neighbor (even when I’m driving), and control my tongue. After all, Christ died for all and I never know who’s listening.
Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise.”