“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:11, ESV)
I have a difficult time discerning what words to absorb and what words to cast aside. Truth is, sometimes people give you what can be called nothing but verbal vomit.
It takes strength to turn aside from stinging words. But we don't deal with flesh and blood, sisters. And the other day, as I stood with head bowed while someone sliced the air with the most hurtful words I had ever heard, I could do nothing but listen silently.
It wasn't after I calmed myself that I really began to see what was going on.
As I mulled over what was said, I realized that they threatened me with the very thing they were most concerned over for themselves. The only way they knew how to get rid of their panic was to try backing someone else into a corner.
Some of us cry when we're afraid, or panic, or pull the covers over our heads. Others of us lash out with words that are worse than a blow on the head with the strongest club in Africa. But do we see what motivates both?
When Satan speaks through another mouth, we dare not listen. But sisters, when God speaks, we dare not argue. If anyone demoralizes you with words straight from the smirking face of the evil one, you must be strong enough to turn aside and refuse to absorb those words.
“We can give words of life when we write,” I told the kids. “And we can also choose to receive only words of life. We must turn aside from anything that counters God's Word to us.”
They look at me soberly, and I walk back to my seat. Sisters, can you walk back to the rest of Christ today by absorbing His words into your very bone and marrow?
As Ann Voskamp says, “All is grace.”