“They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows.”- Psalm 64:3
Have you ever had someone say something mean to you and it made you cry? I sure have. The past few days I have had trouble in my heart because my heart is filled with pain from hurtful things people have said to me in the past. I just cannot seem to get rid of the pain. Let me give you an example.
Last October, I texted a friend of mine to let her know about my tooth ache and the fact that I might have needed surgery to fix my jaw. I do not know what was wrong with her that day, but during my appointment she started to speak cruelly to me by saying things like, “Who is going to pay for it? Your grandfather is not going to live long and once he dies you will be homeless. You only get twenty dollars a week. You do not know how much it costs to live independently. Your writing is not that good, and you’ll never make it to England. Furthermore, you have bad hygiene because you do not shave.”
Text after text I tried to explain that I walk in God’s grace every day, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I also explained that if God wants me to go to England, then he would provide a way. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
As far as the bad hygiene, I was having an allergic reaction to my razor. My nurse advised me to take a week off in between to let my legs heal from the swollen welts that would form on my legs.
Even though she came back to me the next day and apologized to me, I still carry the hurtful words in my heart.
When I share my story about living with my grandpa, many people either imply or outwardly call me stupid or poor. I have a college degree that I am learning to be thankful for, and I am not poor by choice. I believe that God is using the loss of my mother and living with my grandpa for a reason. I may not know what the reason is, but it is to teach me something for sure. Perhaps, I can learn something from the Apostle Paul when he said, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Here is another example of hurtful words. I recently bought an Amazon Echo. I needed to upgrade from the one I currently have because my 2nd generation Echo was going bad. The device was not responding to me, and the sound quality was getting worse. A friend blessed me with a gift card from Amazon, and because I had some money left on it, I found that there was a sale on the Echo devices. I was happy to get this upgrade because I use it for work. My aunt’s response was why did I need to update it, and she was shocked that my device was only two or three years old. When my aunt asked why I needed to update my Amazon Echo, I felt as though she was criticizing my purchasing decisions. I think carefully before purchasing items to determine if it is the best choice.
As you can see many words have entered my heart and have hurt my heart and I think about them often.
Words can also hurt others. Yesterday, as my grandpa and I were cleaning the yard, a young man yelled at my grandpa, “Move you ****” I walked up to my grandpa after this offense and asked if he was okay. He told me that he did not hear what the young man said, I told him. My grandpa just continued to work. While I was working, I felt anger. I felt it and then let it go. After we finished working, I asked grandpa about the incident, He told me that the young man was probably trying to show off to his friends and it is better to let it go and continue to work. He was right. Later, I told my best friend about it and she agreed. God is showing me through my Grandpa’s response, that words do not have to hurt.
Instead of hurtful words, I wish more people would take the bible’s advice when it comes to speaking, “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)