Yesterday I went to counseling. While there I mentioned how I had gone to deal with one thing... my marriage issues that were a result of pornography... but I ended up dealing with so much more. My counselor had suggested that maybe I should write letters (that wouldn't be sent) to the women in porn so I could unload some feelings and find some closure. Because let's face it... they are the "other woman" in my marriage but I'll never be able to have a conversation with them.
So that was the plan. Go home and write letters. But I ended up writing to other people instead. People who had said things ten years ago that were STILL affecting me. I kind of laughed a little and told my counselor "Here I thought I was coming to deal with my marriage issues but I'm all tied up in things that were said to me ten years ago!" She understood and said that she had been in counseling before and found herself dealing with things that were said to her in seventh grade!
Wow. Words you guys. They are definitely powerful.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death.
We can kill people with our words. Maybe not physically but we can kill their spirit, their self esteem, their joy. Words are heavy. They hang around for far longer than we often wish we would. The mean things said to us over the years can continue to haunt us for decades.
They can build us up or tear us down.
The title of my blog is "A Hearty Overflow" and that's based on Matthew 12:34. It says "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." The words that we speak reveal what's in our heart. Ugly words coming out? Ugly heart. Kind words coming out? Kind heart.
In the book of James we read about how hard it is to tame the tongue. Words can be such a difficult thing to control sometimes. We say things in anger we never really mean but once words are out we can't take them back. We can't unhear something that has been said.
Last night I was reading in Proverbs and saw something in a way I hadn't before. Proverbs 16:23 says, "A wise man's heart guides his mouth."
It kind of flipped it for me. Yes our words reveal what is in our heart... BUT... our heart can guide our words. Instead of waiting to hear if ugly or kind words come out to let me know the state of my heart... instead of waiting... I should be working on my heart so that I am believing kind things about others, believing truth so I speak truth. And then I can let my heart guide my mouth instead of just letting my mouth reveal my heart.
I have no idea if I am making clear what is in my head right now! All I know is that I saw something new and it made sense to me!
So here's the thing... it's the Christmas season and everyone is thinking about giving. How about we all give the gift of words! Compliment people. Think of something you REALLY like about someone that you never told them before and then tell them. Tell a complete stranger they are beautiful. Use your words to make someone's day... every. single. day.
Words can be nasty... but they can also be wonderful! Choose wonderful words today... and every day.
Here is a great song about the power of words...