Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hurtful

Have you ever had someone say something to you that was so hurtful it left you speechless?

Have you ever been that person who caused the hurt?

Sadly, I can answer yes on both accounts. I am not speaking that because I am proud of it. I often speak before I think and I often say exactly what is on my mind. You usually do not have to wonder how I feel about you. And if I am quiet...be afraid.

Unfortunately, that is not what I want to have to say about myself. I want to say that I can speak love no matter to whom I am speaking or about what I am speaking. I want to say that everyone feels welcome and loved in my presence.

But that would be a lie. As I have gotten older, I have been more able to hold my tongue in certain circumstances and refrain from giving my opinion on everything. I can listen to an opinion opposite of mine and not completely lose it and I can pretend to be nice when I feel not so nice about someone (though my mom tells me it is clearly obvious how I really feel).

Lately, though, someone I care about has been on the wrong end of hurtful words. That old adage "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." is a big fat lie. Words have the ability to cut to the core, but they also have the healing ability to build and edify. I have seen, as a teacher, how important words are in building or killing a child's self esteem. And as adults, we are not much different from the children I teach...we can be built up or torn down by other people's words.

I have had the desire to tear down the person who has hurt my sweet friend...but then I would be just like her, wouldn't I? Instead, I am learning by example, from my college-aged friend as she silently removes herself from the situation so as to not create a divide in the Bible study group in which this is happening. So much maturity from someone who has been hurt deeply.

God is teaching me, however, that I have probably caused this kind of pain in my "just being truthful" way of speaking. It makes me sad to think that I did that and it makes me want to be a better speaker from now on.

So, if you are around me anytime soon and I am quiet...don't be afraid. Just know I am trying to choose my words very carefully.

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:13-14

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3 comments:

  1. Sometimes people don't think about how much they're hurting another person. I had a similar situation in a Sunday school class and I had to leave. This girl told me that if our class was stranded; she'd eat me first. WTH?! People are crazy! And no one should ever get thier feelings hurt.

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  2. whoa! So sad for your friend; so grateful for your heart that hurts for her; and so thankful for your teachable spirit. I can't wait for the beach this summer. :)
    xoxo

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  3. Amen. Thanks for sharing this. Good reminder to chooser our words carefully. I need to talk less and listen more. Thanks for sharing the verse you did. Reminds of the verses in James ch. 3 about taming the tongue. Something so simple but such a big deal.

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