I’m not sure how many of you reading this have children, but if you do, have you ever noticed that if you use a harsh tone when asking your child to do something that they act out more against what you’re instructing them to do? I’ll admit, I lose my patience a lot and I don’t always approach my children using the kindness I should, especially after I’ve already asked them to do something 3 or 4 times. Lately though, I feel like God has been convicting me in this area. Now I usually recognize it as soon as I say something and even more after they respond.
God has given us the gift of self-control so we should use it to tame our tongue when in conversations with others. God knows that we will have weak moments when we will say things we regret, and He will help correct the damage your words may have caused. It could be what you said, or the tone of voice you had when you said it. All you have to do is confess to Him and immediately seek forgiveness from those you hurt.
In the world of social media it’s become even easier to say hurtful things. Now that there is a screen between us and the person we’re communicating with we don’t always consider how our words will effect them, or how easily things can be misinterpreted. It’s better to control our words than having to correct the damage caused by them.
There’s an object lesson I’ve seen that goes along with this…
Imagine you have a tube of toothpaste, and imagine that the toothpaste inside the tube consists of mean and hurtful things. Squeeze the tube until all the toothpaste is out. Now, try and put the toothpaste back into the tube. You can’t. It’s the same with your words. You can apologize and tell someone you are sorry for what you said, or for the way you said it. But, you can’t take it away and erase it completely. The hurt you placed upon that person’s heart is still there, and depending on how hurtful what you said was, they may not ever forget.
It’s hard to give a gentle answer when someone makes you angry, but it’s even harder to put out a fire caused by hurtful words. When you’re feeling angry, pray and ask God for a gentle answer.
I pray that if you’re consumed by anger that God comforts and calms you. I pray that He gives you the ability to give gentle answers. Amen.
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