Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Power of Words (First Published on PlayFull)

Proverbs 12:18- The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Lately I have been finding myself in a hurtful environment made up of simple words. Not all of us may realize it but I’m sure at one point or another these words have made serious impacts in our lives. Sometimes those impacts are negative. Sometimes they’re not. There may even be some moments when we want to escape from all the chatter and noise and submerge ourselves completely in silence. Whenever that’s the case for me after a rough day at school, I just go home and probably read or lie down for a bit. Even then, I am still vulnerable to anger and doubt where I least expect it. One situation in which this has happened a lot to me is watching YouTube videos. Mostly I would watch clips from movies or TV shows that I haven’t seen in a while so that I know what’s coming. Then there would be other things that pop up and catch my attention so I go on to see those. Now the new videos are fine but no matter how hard I try I usually catch a glimpse at the comments below. Sure enough that comment says something completely offensive to the uploader, which in turn offends me as well. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: It’s not even my business on what people say to the uploaders so I shouldn’t have to take things so personally. But I just do. There were even times when I felt compelled to write a comment to that offender and tell them to shut up and go do something better than view videos they don’t want to watch. Thankfully though, I always stop myself and I’m not entirely sure why. Either I felt scared that my parents wouldn’t approve of it or I just figure it wouldn’t be worth it anyway. Whatever the reason, I now know that I shouldn’t ever turn to that action. How did I figure this out? I’ll give you a hint: It’s at the top of the page. Recently that verse has shown up and spoke to me in a way that it didn’t when I heard it last time. Let’s take a look at the two different parts of this verse.
First part: The words of the reckless pierce like swords.  As I mentioned before, we live in a world that’s filled with harmful words. As Christians, we want to rid our tongues of filthy language and attacking phrases, but sometimes we tend to lose control of ourselves and want to fight back with people who start a quarrel with us. It may seem that we are defending the truth while looking courageous at the same time, but in reality, we have it all wrong. If we fought back with the same weapons used by our offenders, wouldn’t that give them a reason to continue fighting us? Not only that, but as we wage our small battles with one another we can find that, slowly but surely, we are giving the enemy more satisfaction than we intend to. This is exactly what Satan wants. To use our own abilities and values against us so that when we think we do or say things for the glory of God, we end up giving ourselves up to the temptation within ourselves, which is Satan.
Second part: The tongue of the wise brings healing.  In case you’re wondering, this phrase means that to make things better you need to speak kind words. “WHAT?!! Are you kidding me? People swear at me or disrespect me all the time, and you want me to be kind even with my mouth?!” That’s pretty much what I think most of the time when I hear this portion. I’m not very good with controlling my words or actions when my mind is troubled. I try to but then fail by the end of the day. That’s why this is even more important than the first half. If we were to just stand there and accept all the harsh words spoken to us and about our beliefs, then it doesn’t look like we would be any better than the people speaking in the first place. But if we stood up and spoke with the truth and life the Bible gives us, then we would be bringing light into this world with every single thing we say. Of course, I’m not saying that just kind words will immediately shut our attackers up and leave us alone after that. They will definitely want to keep attacking just to get something out of you. But if you keep using your words for good then eventually they will see that their words no longer affect you and maybe see the same light that you see now.
If you’re still reading this, then hopefully it’s because this article has meant something to you. Just remember that if you're like me and want to scream back at people when they attack you, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords”. We can’t let Satan in our mouths where we can easily kill other people and bring his darkness into the world. And if you’re one of those bystanders who just let yourself or others get hurt, “The tongue of the wise brings healing”. You already have your defense against people’s words. Now all you have to do is turn it into your offensive so that you can speak the life that you have been given by God.

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