Finding Victory In A Word War

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. James 1:26

It was a quiet Sunday morning, just before I would head into the doors of the sanctuary that the most unholy thing happened. The wounding of a human soul. Mine.

The friendly conversation turned ugly fast as her anger spewed like hot lava all over me. I kept my composure as best as I could and told her we would have to talk later.

I sat shaking, fighting tears in the third pew on the right. And, after, when the apology came, I accepted. But the damage was done.

Have you ever been there? 
Which side of the word war were you on?

Were you the attacked or the attacker?

In his book, Just A Minute, Wess Stafford, President and CEO of Compassion International, reminds us that it only takes a minute for our words to change a lifefor better or for worse.

“Spoken or written, words have an incredible power to sear themselves into the human spirit.”

I know I have said a lot of things in my life that I wish I could take back. But, the truth is, I can’t. All I can do is pray for grace and ask God to help me give that same grace to others.

Because we are all walking wounded, aren’t we? We all have tongues, sharp as swords, and no one comes through this life unscathed.

But just because we are prone to bad behavior doesn’t mean we have to be a slave to it. 

In John 13:34, Jesus gave this command to His disciples: “Love one another. As I have love you, so you must love one another.” And, in Matthew 5:44, Jesus teaches another radical concept:  “Love your enemies.”

Mr. Stafford quotes poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to emphasize that message of looking beyond the surface to the person Jesus sees.

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

God help me to remember that the hateful actions of others does not give me permission to hate back. As hard as it might be to believe, hidden behind the armor of every angry warrior is a little child crying out for love and acceptance.

This song is my prayer. May it be for all of us.  

Let my words be Life
Let my words be Truth
I don’t want to say a Word
Unless it points the world
Back to You

 

Hawk Nelson – Words (Feat. Bart Millard of MercyMe) Official Lyric Video from hawk-nelson on GodTube.

3 thoughts on “Finding Victory In A Word War

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I know how painful some words directed toward me have been and the long term effect of them. What I can do in response is to watch my OWN tongue and let it be an instrument for God’s glory.

    Loved the song, too.

  2. Like you I have been on both sides of the hurtful words situation. The world is watching Christians and how we act and what we say, and we want our words to reflect well on our faith and on our Savior. Nice post.

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