I couldn’t fall asleep last Thursday.
You’d think it was because I was feeling the pressure of performing not just my first wedding ceremony, but the wedding ceremony of my little sister (picture) in less than 48 hours.
Sleep eluded me because I was thinking about an article I read about gossiping positively (read the sixth point). There were no witnesses so I cannot confirm or deny if a few tears were shed as I lay there restless in bed.
My spirit was burdened by one thought.
Why is it so easy to tear down those closest to us with our words?
Is it just me or is there a point in most relationships (friends, spouse, co-workers) where you become more comfortable talking about a person’s weaknesses or the negative aspects of their habits/personality?
You’re always late. You get your feelings hurt too easily. You only think about yourself.
That point in a relationship is a potentially dangerous crossroad.
One path has you continually speaking negatively about a person which (guaranteed) breeds mistrust, resentment, bitterness, annoyance and the like (on both sides).
This path truly frightens me.
It has the potential of leading a relationship to the point of no return.
Negative words are like jabbing a fork at someone. It doesn’t matter how thick a person’s skin is. If kept up, eventually your words will draw blood and the wound will scar. You’ll have left permanent damage on the relationship.
The other option is you fight hard, often and diligently to replace your negative words with why that person is valuable to God. What makes them unique? What strengths do they have that you lack?
Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
I have been on the receiving end of negative comments. I like to think I have thick skin and am not easily offended. But I found myself wincing when I heard negative things said about me. Words that became hurtful even though they were true and things I already knew about myself. They made me more insecure and self-conscious.
I shed some tears (wouldn’t call it a cry…) the other day because I saw the negative affect words had not only on me but those closest to me as well.
Everyday we eat the fruit of our words.
Use words that bring life.
Thoughts? Please share in the comments.
Photo courtesy of lauralewis23.