This is the final post of my five week series on the power of words. We have all been impacted by the words of another. Some words have imbued us with confidence, while others have deflated us. We are created to be communicators. So, when there are words, how do we use them well?
Let’s explore this over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me and add your thoughts to the conversation! If you want to read previous posts, click: When There Are Words.
Words have power.
I still remember the day. I was sitting in the teacher’s lunchroom, taking my break when they walked in.
Two teachers who were besties. They sat in such a way that one wouldn’t have to look at me. And then they proceeded to whisper and shoot furtive glances my way.
Talk about uncomfortable.
There’s nothing like these body language messages to make a girl feel demeaned. They were older than me. They should have known better.
But instead of working through whatever difference the one woman had toward me, she chose the mean girl route. I slunk from that room just as quickly as I could swallow my food past the lump growing in my throat. And I escaped the poison floating on the air in that room.
I don’t know why women do this to each other. Why we let our insecurities rule and seek to hurt others rather than to build each other up.
Why we choose the way of hurt rather than the way of grace.
The only thing I can figure is that some of us have so much hurt inside, we have so much eating us away at our core, that the only way we can figure to stop the pain is to hurt someone else.
To make someone else feel worse in our attempts to feel better. If I had to guess, I’d bet most women have fallen prey to this lie at some point in our lives. In our attempts to feel better about ourselves, we look for the flaw (real or imagined) in another and exploit it.
When insecurities dictate our words, we’ll always maim someone.
But if women chose words of life rather than words that maim?
What if we could speak encouragements to each other?
What if, when we saw another succeeding in an area where we’ve not yet found success, we could encourage each other?
What if, instead of giving into jealousy, we could lift each other up?
Isn’t that what Jesus does? Yes, I know. He’s a man.
The only perfect person to ever walk the earth.
Instead of death, He chose words of life. For the woman at the well. For the woman caught in adultery.
He saw their shame and covered them with the grace of forgiveness.
What if we could do that for the people around us?
When we find our value in who God says we are—and we believe it? That’s when speaking words of life comes more naturally.
When we deal with our past hurts by bringing them to the foot of the cross . . .
when we release them into God’s hands . . .
that’s when our real healing begins.
Healing can never be accomplished at the expense of someone else’s dignity. It happens when we begin to trust Jesus with our wounds.
When we choose to look beyond our hurts . . .
When we decide to view others through Jesus’ filter of grace . . .
Then, maybe, we can be a part of someone else’s healing.
When we speak words of life to others, God’s healing works deeper into our hearts. His power prevails when we speak words of life.
I wish I could say things eventually smoothed out between me and the other teacher. But I can’t.
The beauty in this story is that God used the hurts she inflicted to help me to begin seeing how He values me, and each of His children.
Whether or not others do.
His words are the most powerful and they are life-giving.
What about you? How have you seen God’s healing in you through someone’s words of life? How has God helped you to see others as He does?