August 17, 2017
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:25-32
There always seem to be drama in teenage girls lives
Sometimes the drama is because of a misunderstanding. Sometimes it’s because of a social media post. Sometimes it could be because of a guy.
More often than not, the drama is directly tied to words. And believe me, there are all sorts of word-related offenders: a hastily sent email, a group text gone wrong, a sarcastic remark in the hallway, a rumor that’s passed along thoughtlessly—we could go on and on.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of those things, you know how much it can hurt. But sometimes, we’re the ones who do the hurting, and sometimes it can he from two people hurting each other and not always in words but actions, which was my case. I understand why it happens. We’re always looking for ways to feel connected to other people—to feel accepted and “safe”—so when the enemy dangles bait that gives us a chance to be a mocker as opposed to mocked, to be the scorner instead of scorned, we can feel tempted to lunge at that seemingly tasty morsel. So we start a rumor, share some gossip, roast the new girl or boy and we act like it’s all in good fun. After all, the bait look delicious, right?
But don’t be fooled, that bait is a trap. And that trap will hook you and hold you for longer than you ever intended to stay there and believe me I’m eating my fruits. I made a terrible decision 3 years ago and just at the moment before I made that choice God quickened me at that very moment to tell me it was not going to turn out good for me. Even though I was betrayed and trusted by someone that I knew I shouldn’t have, even though he tore me down and wounded me, rejected me all I could think about was hurting him back. I will always grieve over those decisions I made and not trusting God that he’s decision was the right one.
That’s why it’s critical to use our words well. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (ESV). So every time we speak, we are choosing life or death.
Let me repeat that.
Every time we speak, we are choosing life or death.
We can build up, encourage, love, and support. Or we can tear down, wound, hate, and reject.
So, I just want to offer three quick suggestions that will hopefully remind us of how important it is to speak life today:
1. Every single person is made in the image of God. Every. Single. One. It’s good to remember that before we share the latest rumor or pass along “news” that’s really none of our business. The person you’re tempted to talk about is precious in God’s sight. Choose your words carefully.
2. Empathy changes how we respond. Instead of firing off a sarcastic remark, take ten seconds to really think about how the other person feels—and how you feel when people are unkind to you. Think about the possibility that what you and the other person really need is a conversation, not an argument.
3. It’s so much more rewarding to create a culture of honor and esteem than it is to settle for a culture of mean. And if you’re tempted to think the culture can’t be any different—that you can’t make a difference—then stand up for someone who’s having a tough time. You’ll see what an impact even one person can have.
Give grace. Speak life. Your words are more powerful than you know they not only wound the other person but they cause deep wounds to your on soul!