Last Sunday, our pastor preaching on Loving with Our Words and the power of words, for good and for evil.
A pretty standard sermon, but I loved how he really impressed upon us how powerful our words can be. He preaches with such passion and honesty, that I felt that for the first time in a long time I saw how directly this applied to my life. I mean, ever since I was little, my mom and dad have impressed this upon me, but sometimes an old lesson just slaps you in the face like you’ve never heard it before, ya know? And the fact that you have heard it before, MANY times before, is like a second slap. There is nothing like learning a lesson over and over again…oy vey!
He talked about the power of “Word” and how we, as created in the image of God, have the potential to bring life and/or death with our words. I am sure we have all had those moments where someone said just the right thing at just the right time and we will never forget the encouragement/love/joy/peace that person brought into our lives. I am sure we can also remember a time when someone said something that embarrassed/tore down/humiliated/caused doubt/brought insecurity like an overwhelming flood/I could go on and on…the power of our words should really make us stop and take a look at why we say what we say and also how we say it.
He had two main points, “Tame your Tongue” – think before speaking because you can really do some serious damage with your hurtful/manipulative/self-serving/mean words. And secondly, “Tune your Tone” – how you say it matters just as much as what you say, when it comes to how people receive and interpret your words.
At this point I started to giggle and the huz kind of smirked because almost 100% of our arguments and disagreements revolve around the ton of voice used, whether his or mine. My husband is passionate and exuberant and when we are talking out some sort of issue, he tends to yell, which to him is just talking normally. I have gotten better, but sometimes I still hear the yelling and think, “Oh, we aren’t just talking about this, we are really angry about this, I guess I should be angry too!” at which point I step over the ledge into full-blown, redheaded anger and folks, you don’t come back from that quickly or easily. At this point, the huz realizes, “wait a second, why is she angry? I thought we were just talking it out?” but it is too late. At this point, we don’t even remember what we are arguing about, we are just angry.
My tone of voice can at times, make it seem like I don’t care about the topic at hand, which doesn’t make the huz feel like I am invested in the conversation, which is not a good feeling and something I am working on daily.
(Side note: I feel like this post makes it sound like we fight a lot, we really don’t! Well, I feel like we argue a healthy amount (you gotta work stuff out, ya know?), which is a miracle for two such stubborn, hot-headed and snarky individuals as we are :))
It is so funny when two families and two different ways of doing things collide in a little thing called “marriage”. We have been married almost five years and I feel like we are just getting a hold on the whole tone of voice thing, for which we are both very grateful. Although knowing me and my shortcomings, I am sure something else will just replace it that I will have to battle within myself. Battle with scripture and prayer.
He shared so many great verses that I just wanted to share them with you as we all continue to learn to “tame the tongue” and “tune our tone”:
“From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:20-21)
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
“…The tongue is also a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:5-8)
“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
“In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death” (Proverbs 12:28)
“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.” (Ephesians 4:29)
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
Pastor Jeff ended with an important reminder.
The problem & solution are NOT found in our mouths…but in our hearts.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit…how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matthew 12:33-35)