Every thought that pops into our heads, should not be verbalized without first filtering our words. Plain and simple: words hurt! The tongue is small, but mighty. We must be very careful how we use it. While it can be used to spew beautiful words of love and comfort, it can also be used to slander and hurt others. “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10 ESV).
Once words are spoken, they cannot be taken back. Likewise, they are not easily forgotten. We all have had an innocent slip of the tongue, and were quickly able to retract or “clean up” our words. Unfortunately, there are times when a simple retraction is not enough. If someone appears offended by your words, try to make amends by explaining yourself. It could simply be a misunderstanding. Sometimes our words don’t come out as we intend. If this is the case, offer an apology and state what you mean with positive words.
On the other hand, some comments are unwarranted and unnecessary. The following statements are perfect examples:
• You’ve gained a lot of weight
• You’re 40? Wow, you look much older
• You can be so stupid sometimes
• You can do better than that (after meeting a friend’s spouse)
• Your children are bad
• You are so skinny, you must be sick
While these statements are clearly insults, you don’t have to respond in the same manner. Never aim to hurt someone just because they hurt you. Try diffusing the situation on a positive note, no matter how hard this may be. Naturally you will want to respond in a way that will hurt them as must as they have hurt you. Don’t do it! You have several options that will leave you satisfied with yourself, without lowering your standards. Your comeback should never include hurtful or damaging words. Some better options include:
• Responding with humor. Sometimes making light of the situation shows you’re able to handle criticism gracefully.
• Walk away. If you are hurt deeply by someone’s words and your response might do the same to them, simply walk away. Refuse to be provoked into acting ungodly.
• Simply ask why they feel that way. Sometimes confronting someone regarding their rudeness, says you’re okay with who you are and THEY are the ones with the problem
• Don’t react! When all else fails and you can’t think of a nice comeback, say nothing. Only offer a slight smile or shrug of your shoulders.
When they see they can’t upset you with words, they end of feeling embarrassed
Remember, God wants us all to love each other, just as He loves us. When unsure what to say, simply play role reversal with yourself. Would you welcome a personal comment regarding something you most likely are already aware of? Of course not, therefore your comment is best left unsaid. Be kind in everything you do and say. Always take other people’s feeling into account. Lastly, always respond intelligently, even when addressed unintelligently. Until next time…..….continued blessings!
“Pleasant words are like honey from a honeycomb—sweet to the spirit and healthy for the body” (Proverbs 16:24 GW)