A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit
Proverbs 15:4 ESV
Words are powerful. Words can give life or kill spirits.
The words spoken to us, in us and by us can be words of love and affirmation or words of anger and bitterness. What words do you hear people speaking to you? What are you saying to yourself? To others?
I know that when I am wounded and weak, I hold on to hurtful words and become deaf to the words that lift me up. What words are you holding on to?
I remember when I was in elementary school, words stuck to me like tar and feathers. Kids teased me unmercifully, and after a while, I believed what they said of me. Their words became my truth.
The mean words started when I grew taller than anyone in my class. By the time I was in the sixth grade, I was taller than my teacher. In school photos, I stand a foot taller than my friends. My extra height made me a target. I was called “skyscraper,” “giant,” and a list of other names that made me feel like something was wrong with me. The shame was debilitating.
Sticks and stones can indeed break bones,
but not so true that words will never hurt.
Eventually, my growth spurt ended, and my classmates caught up with me, but the words stayed. I believed the words, and without knowing, I started to tell myself that I was not enough, that I was not acceptable.
It’s hard to un-hear words, but they can be replaced.
What have words done to you? What words do you need to hear?
Do you need to know how important you are?
God says you are the apple of His eye. He will keep you as the apple of His eye, under the shadow of His wings. (Psalm 17:8) In scripture, being the apple of someone’s eye means that you are most precious. The phrase refers to the center of the eye or the iris, and vision depends on it. Without the iris or the opening of the eye, we are blind. It’s vitally important and precious.
You are precious in God’s sight.
Do you want to hear how you are created wonderfully?
God says that He knit you together. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) He made you, and that makes you precious and on purpose. God made you by design. It was God’s intention for me to be tall in elementary school. God made me that way, and that makes me stand out in a crowd. (Sorry, had to say it.)
Remember, you are beautiful and wonderfully made.
Do you need to know that you are not alone?
God says he will never leave or forsake us. To the Hebrews, He said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) The same promise is ours. He is with us ALL the time. He is not just with us at church or during prayer. He surrounds you this moment while you are reading this post. God is with you even when you are not at your best and during the highlights of your life.
Nothing you do can separate you from His love.
If words have hurt you and have possibly become your truth, I hope you will speak God’s truth to yourself instead. Replace the lies you heard with the truth. Don’t wait for someone to speak them, grab hold of God’s words, and make them your truth today.
I read an article that said our emotional state is changed just by reading negative words. Imagine the damage done by hearing negative words. There is also psychology research that shows that we need to hear at least five positive words to negate just one negative word. Here are five words for you:
These words are your words and what’s more, God says them about you–not just me and all the other people who love you. God says them about you. That’s big.
Moreover, the truth of these words can’t be changed by someone else’s words or erased by lies. These words speak the truth about you no matter what your past looks like or how your future falls into place. These are your words.
Whenever you start to tell yourself, “there’s something wrong with me,” or “I’m not good enough.” Stop. Take that thought captive. Replace it with the truth of your five words. Tell yourself:
I am His, and He is mine. That makes me perfect.
You can also share these kind words. If we need to hear five positive words to replace one negative one, the same is true for others. Be the one to speak positive words that replace negative words in them.
Today, someone will cross your path that needs to hear how special they are or for someone to notice them. Perhaps, you can say, “I am with you.” Or, “You look amazing.” Maybe, “I love you.”
You have the words, use them.
Father, thank you for the words of truth we find in Your Word. Help us to listen and speak those words of love and truth to ourselves and to others. Replace the painful words we keep with the truth of how you love us and see us. Amen.
TAKING IT A STEP FARTHER: I have given you five words to hopefully replace at least one painful word in your heart. Make a list of as many loving kind words you can think of to say to yourself and to others. If you think about these words you are more likely to recall them instead of harsh hurting words. How many words can you list?
CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES:
You can find Holley Gerth’s book, What’s True About You, HERE. It’s a sweet little book filled with over 50 truths from scripture about who we are. It would make an excellent gift.
Another excellent book for dealing with our “thought closet,” or those self-defeating thought patterns and words is Jennifer Rothchild’s Me, Myself, and Lies. I have read this book multiple times and probably need another read. Check it out HERE.
(Just so you know, I am an Amazon affiliate,
so take a look at my disclaimer, please.)
Title photo courtesy of Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash