Fragile Wings: Careful, part 2
I love it when I see a theme developing–a God prompted theme. Since I posted Careful about taking care with the words we speak to others (and ourselves), I’ve noticed other bloggers and websites have had something to say about the subject, too. Sometimes it wasn’t their main point, just peripheral, but I heard the still, small voice.
I think God is still trying to teach me something. Join me as we look again at the effect our words can have on hearts–hearts as fragile as butterfly wings.
Words matter, and they should edify.
What will you contribute to your world today? Endless-mindless chatter or pontifications or soliloquies or slams against anything or anyone with whom you don’t agree? Or life-giving words that build up and challenge and leave the hearer wanting more?
“Edify” means to instruct or benefit, to uplift. The Latin source words are aedes “a dwelling, temple” and facere “to make.” So when we speak edifying words to others we have the privilege of helping to construct the dwelling, the temple for the Spirit of God in another human being.
Watch your tone or Lessons from a lab
I watched our trainer use positive vocal tone and food rewards. She never once used physical force or harsh words.
Maybe if I spoke words of love more often than complaints and demands, my family and friends might respond differently.
Rose obeyed her trainer. Why?
Because she associated the call to come with good—with pleasure—with reward.
Warning: Fragile Hearts Ahead
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 NKJV
What if occasional hurtful words become a pattern of humiliation and abuse?
Focus on the Family recently did something out of the ordinary. Due to the huge response to a show on emotional abuse, they aired it again only a few months after the first broadcast. The show’s guest, a licensed clinical social worker and author, Leslie Vernick said
The Bible is quite clear that reckless words pierce like a sword …. God validates the reality of our harsh words on someone’s soul, spirit and body. And I think we as Christians need to validate that, too.
Need to learn more about emotional abuse?
By reading this article series [on the Focus on the Family website], we hope you will help you learn to listen to your friends’, neighbors’, relatives’—or maybe even your own—waspish, hurtful words. And if you are a recipient of this type of domestic violence, first hold yourself in high esteem, re-evaluate your relationships and then ask for help.
Handle With Care
Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience shares The 1 Thing You Have To Stop Doing If You Ever Want a Harvest and talks about mudslinging and angry words. We need to remember to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Read all the angry and sign up for the culture wars and pump your angry fist and you sign up to take down the very people that Christ took nails for.
Read all the angry and go ahead and sling a bit of mud and you find yourself the one going a bit blind. Been there, done that: You forget how to see people as souls, you forget that you’ve never once talked about a mere person, but always and only about God-fashioned souls so handle with care.
You forget that the person you’re slamming is a person who Jesus loved so passionately for, He busted open His heart and bled for.
In a Facebook conversation about these words from Ann Voskamp, I read of my friend Berny’s desire:
Constraint of pen and mouth . . . and keyboard.
I pray for grace and gracefulness.
I don’t want to harm . . . only bless.
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Photo of dogs and trainer by Heather MacLaren
Photo of cross and shadow by Barb Briggs