Practice the pause
We all know the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” A couple of weeks ago, the Pastor at my church called that saying out! He said that saying is a LIE and it surely is.
Words can hurt. Words can heal. Words can bring peace. Words can start conflict. Words can speak life, and they can even bring death. (Proverbs 19:21, Proverbs 18:21)
It’s probably safe to say that every single one of us has been on the receiving end of terrible, untrue or hurtful words spoken, either to our face, behind our back or both. It’s also probably safe to say that we have all spoken terrible words at some point in our lives to someone or about someone. I say this not to bring shame but awareness. If we would simply learn to practice ‘the pause’ when we are about to speak something that is not positive, can you imagine the difference we could truly make?
The Bible speaks SO much about the power of the tongue. Our tongues can be as sharp as a sword (Proverbs 12:18). A sword can injure and can kill. We don’t want to be responsible for killing someone’s spirit, confidence or life with nasty, hurtful words we speak out of frustration or anger. Practice ‘THE PAUSE.’ Count to 10 or simply say a quick prayer for God to ‘guard the doorway of your mouth’ when in the midst of a heated situation. (Psalm 141:3)
There are things that were said to me many years ago that at the time radically altered the trajectory of my life and I went through a lot of unnecessary drama because I let those words into my soul until I believed them and unconsciously harbored them deep inside for many years. Hindsight surely is 20/20 but what I would have given for someone to have spoken truth and life into me then. With that in mind, we want to intentionally and immediately take anything hurtful, untrue or nasty straight to God and petition Him to erase it from our minds or at least help us to see the untruth and not harbor it - and possibly altering our lives in a bad way. Quickly cry out for God to forgive that person immediately and ask Him to help you forgive them as well.
By practicing THE PAUSE and offering IMMEDIATE FORGIVENESS and releasing it to God, you will surely save yourself and others from pain and trouble ahead.
Proverbs 15:4- The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.