Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 18, 2011
“They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.” Psalm 140:3
Poisonous words come from a proud heart. In our original state of sin, Satan, the old serpent, infected us with the venom of injurious words. We have to watch what we say, or we may regret what we say. A person in their anger tends to say what their parents said in their anger. It is a vicious cycle of cynicism that only Christ can break.
Instead of lashing out with language that stings or is even slanderous, there needs to be a cooling down time for calm and clear thinking. Frustration tends to feed judgmental behavior. When our throat is dry and our blood pressure is up, it is not the best time to speak, because poisonous words pronounce judgments driven by anger and emotion.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly” (Proverbs 15:1-2).
If you have been bitten by bitter words, then apply the balm of first bowing down to Christ. Jesus has just what the wounded soul and hurting heart needs. The Holy Spirit helps you discern how you can become better, and He gives you the patience and humility on when to wait, or when to confront. Victims of poisonous words need the serum of their Savior’s love and forgiveness. When applied liberally and regularly it allows you to handle harsh words with an understanding and non-defensive attitude.
Followers of Jesus are men and women of ‘no reputation’. It is God who gets the glory and grants a good name. So, go to the Lord when your pride has been punctured by poisonous words, and ask Him for faith to forgive and grace to extend pleasant words. Don’t stew when you have been stung by slander; rather apply the ointment of God’s grace.
Moreover, pleasant words work out the hurt and replace it with hope. Words like, “I love you, I believe in you, how can I help, how can I pray for you?” bring out the best in those in need of soul nourishment. Emotions venture back out in vulnerability within a safe environment of encouragement. Offer often pleasant words that feed hungry hearts.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
What are some pleasant words like, ‘How can I help?’ that I can apply to a wounded relationship?
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