Your Words

 

psalm-19-14

kellyarcidiacono.com

Your words matter. Your words count. What you say can wound or heal those around you. Choose your words wisely.

Years ago, our nine year old son came home from school sad. He felt like he had a bad day. Now, this child has always been more sensitive to those around him, to his environment, words said and actions done. He’s my rough-and-tumble, tenderhearted boy. He likes things to be peaceful and stable, fun and joyful, and this day hadn’t been quite like any of that.

He told me about his teacher snapping at him, how kids had laughed at him, and how the lunch lady had harassed him. As the story played out, I realized the teacher had “jokingly snapped” at him when he told the other kids to be quiet in line, causing the kids to chuckle around him, and the lunch lady had “jokingly harassed” him when he spilled a little of his spaghetti from his plate, saying, “Your mom needs to teach you how to do this.”

Now, to you and me, as adults and people who have experienced pain, criticism and strife, what he went through may not be that big of a deal. I could tell, by the information he had given, that his teacher hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings; she probably didn’t even think twice about it. There was no part of bullying or harrassment meant in her statement.

Don’t we all do that from time to time? We will quip our answers “short and sweet” to those around us, never assuming that it might impact them differently than we intended. Yet, the sharp remarks he received from those two adults at lunchtime, combined with the snickering of children around him, had cast a cloud on his usual joyful demeanor and caused him to feel like his whole day was just horrible.

proverbs-18-21

mybible.com

As he grows, he will learn how to handle jokes, sarcasm and harassment. His tender heart may not always remain as tender, but I can assure you, this day reminded me that we should all be more cautious with, not only what we say, but also the attitude and tone in which we say it. There are times for sharpness, and there are definitely times for rebuke.

Don’t mistake my comments here to be an agreement with the recent cultural push for a kinder, meeker society where we can give no rebuttal to anyone without a cry against “tolerance.” When there is evil and wrongdoings present, it angers me to hear those trying to settle down a conflict when the only persons they’re trying to calm down is the very one confronting the sin or wrong being done! It seems this nation is working hard to excuse certain beliefs, actions or opposing viewpoints simply because they’re “new and culturally accepted.” These actions and attitudes are not what I’m talking about here.

I am referring to the words we use with those closest to us and the tones and attitudes we portray behind these words. It is so easy to be in the middle of having a bad day, be approached by a child and respond to them by snapping their little head off. It’s so common to be stressed out, right at the time of a deadline and just “blow a gasket,” simply, because your spouse asked where a clean pair of socks are. It’s such a ‘knee-jerk reaction” to be worried and concerned over a situation and respond to your ‘aggravating’ teen in an overemotional manner instead of stopping to realize they weren’t trying to get on your nerves; they’re just being a teenager. I know. I’ve been there, and I wonder if you have been, too…

proverbs-12-18

deebrestin.com

The heart of a child, a teen, and even our spouse are at stake when we allow our emotions to rule over our words and actions. We should not only have the mind of Christ, but we must have His mouth as well! Let our words always be tempered by His grace, love and Truth.

psalms_19-14

kingjamesbibleonline.org

 

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Praises or Curses

“And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:8-11

Can you see Him?
He entered the city riding upon a donkey. The people lined the streets, shouting, “Hallelujah,” praising His Name. They hailed Him as King. 

 

 Can you see them?

One week later, they would curse Him and crucify Him. Hate Him for the very thing for which they praised Him just days before: He proclaimed to be King. 

How often do we do this same thing?

When things are going good, we praise Him, we worship Him, we proclaim His goodness. We smile. We laugh. We rejoice and tell of His great love to those around us. 

Yet, when tragedy strikes, when hard times comes, when things happen that we just can’t understand, we question. We doubt. We grow angry. We even curse Him, at times, believing we should never suffer, because we serve Him. 

Can you see yourself?

Fighting, clawing your way through life. Angry and broken over the things that haven’t gone right. Hurt and confused because of the broken dreams and shattered promises of this world. Lost and alone without Him. 

Now, can you see Him?

He looks upon you with eyes of love and not anger. He comes to you with His arms open wide. He wants to forgive us, and He longs to redeem us. He died for us while we were yet sinners, and He is faithful to us even when we are so less than faithful! He loves us and desires to be with us, and He patiently awaits our surrender. 

This week, as we head toward Easter, let’s stop and really evaluate our responses to Him. Let’s not allow our praises to become curses simply because things don’t turn out as planned. 

Bring your brokenness to Him, and let Him heal your hearts. Let Him soothe those fears and doubts. Let Him comfort you and help you. He loves you, and He has good plans for you. 

Can we praise Him today? 

Praise Him for all He’s done. Praise Him for His love for us and freely receive that love. It’s there just for you, just for me. Let our praises become a ritual and not a one time offering. Let our praises become a lifestyle of love to Him.