Friday, March 9, 2012

The pain of words

"The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God" (James 3:8, 9).

Oh, to take words back...

I've never considered myself a "speak-before-you-think" person, but lately I find myself wondering. Words can hurt, oh so much. And even though I might think I'm saying the right thing, I find out too late that I said the very worst thing.

My only remaining hope is forgiveness. And if my words of repentance meet with a cold, hurting heart... it's then that I realize the enormity of my quickly-spoken words.

They stare at me, haunt me, make me cry. Why couldn't I see? Why didn't I stop and pray before I spoke? Why didn't I think?

Here is where I realize a fact of life: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15). It's me, and no one else. I'm the chief, and He came to save me. Who am I to point out something in someone else when it's me who needs Him the most? People need to know that He died to save, but they're not going to hear it while I see myself as better than them, even if subconsciously.

I am glad that I never meet with coldness in my Father's heart. My words hurt Him, too, but He never turns me away. Oh to be more like Him--to speak, to forgive, to love. He gives peace for the pain, but I will never be the same. It takes a lot of time to heal the wounds from an e-mail written in five minutes.

I'm guessing that healing will be the theme of my prayers for a while. If you think of it, would you pray for it, too?