“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Whoever said that was clueless! (I post on this often because it is a relevant topic).
Our words can wound people… deeply… for along time. Physical wounds heal quickly. Emotional and heart wounds don’t heal easily or quickly and they can fester for years to decades! I want to address that…
It’s been said that a hurricane destroys everything in it’s path. The same is true for the person whose anger and bitterness comes out their mouth and wounds whoever is around them (Sadly, most of the time those wounded are those closest to us… family). The emotional pain a human hurricane causes is counted in more than dollars and physical damage. It is much more significant… possibly lasting into eternity.
This matter is of great importance and seriousness because of the following Scriptures:
1 Corinthians 11:31 If we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. (Note: Think on the last phrase!)
Hebrews 10:30 “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
I’ve been a Cat-5 too many times in my life. Several years ago I sat each of my family down and apologized to them… AND have made it my life’s goal to: 1) Not wound them if at all possible… 2) If I do to repent quickly… 3) Constantly ask God to protect my family from me… 4) Ask God to work this passage deep into my heart… Ephesians 4:26-27, 29-32…
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Practical Suggestions from 2 Corinthians 7:9-11…
There are two kinds of sorrow (Grief)… one is Godly while the other is worldly. People can grieve for different reasons such as: Anger, embarrassment, manipulation, or fear (These are called “Worldly sorrow” in 2 Cor 7).
When we have sinned, and God’s Spirit is at work in us (Hear that!), He causes GODLY GRIEF…
Godly grief causes us to… Want to address the situation ourselves (V 11… “In you”)! We don’t wait to be caught or forced into action. We act because WE recognize sin ourselves and are personally motivated to rectify the situation and change our actions.
Godly grief causes us to… Repent. Turn away from our sin and toward God (V 10).
Godly grief causes us to… Earnestness to deal with the situation/event properly (V 11).
Godly grief causes us to… Indignation at ourselves that we have sinned against God and wounded others (V 11b)
Godly grief causes us to… Fear as to what our actions may have or will cause in others (V 11c)
Godly grief causes us to… Longing from within to do whatever it takes to correct the situation (V 11d)
Godly grief causes us to… Zeal to work hard at making things right with God and others (V 11e)
Godly grief causes us to… We punish ourselves without others having to inflict it upon us (V 11f)
Growing in Christ and maturing in the faith means that God’s Spirit brings to our own conscience the need to repent of sin. Whether our sin is the result of words we say or things we have done, Godly Grief (Sorrow) is worked in us by the Holy Spirit. What we probably need to do is found in the following Scripture of Psalm 139:23…
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!