When Words Hurt
As a writer, words are important to me. I am very aware of the words I use, and the words others use. These words seem to stick in my head, repeating over and over, the good and the bad.
I believe words are powerful and as it is says in Proverbs 18:21, life and death can be found in power of the tongue.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. -Proverbs 18:21
When they bring life, words can be an incredible tool. As a teacher, one thing I have realized is that my words have the power to make a student feel like they can accomplish anything, or feel like they can not do anything right.
When words bring death, they can haunt us and cause us to question our identity. Words said unkindly or without thought can cause friendships to crumple, relationships to shake, and our own view of ourself to seem cloudy.
I have learned over the past few months that I take words said to me personally. Very personally. I like to think I have a tough shell and that I am a secure person. Sticks and stones... You know.
But really, words said to me months ago still clonk around in my head reminding me that I am not good enough and making me paranoid that people think less of me than they probably do.
Enough is enough. If you are ready to join me in taking control of how the words people say affect us, here are some tips:
Make a list of things you know to be true. In order to combat hurtful words or lies, we need to have an arsenal of truth. Truth about who God says we are. If you must, list out the lies in one column, and then find corresponding verses in the Bible to combat those lies. Keep that list close as a reminder!
Take control of your thoughts. If someone says one negative thing in passing, before they have walked out of the room, I can develop that one comment into: "They hate me. They never want to see my face again. I am a failure." Whoa, there girl! Take a comment for what it is and learn to separate it from your identity. You are more that what someone else thinks or says of you.
Stop believing the lies. Believing the lies others say about us starts with the habit of believing the lies we tell ourselves. Every time a lie pops into my head I say, sometimes out loud, “No that is not me. I am more than that lie."
When it really hurts, take the hurt where it belongs, to the feet of Jesus. Sometimes words are ugly, really ugly. Sometimes you cry in your car on the way home because of what has been said to you. But know that there is someone who is ready to comfort you and remind you who you are, even when you can't see it. Jesus is always ready with that still small voice that takes all the hurt and makes it smaller.
What do you do when words hurt? How do you speak truth into your life?
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