Monday, March 10, 2014

Words that Heal


There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 (NAS)

This verse jumped out at me the other day when I read, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,” and I was really taken aback. Did I read that right? Are words spoken rashly really as bad as all that? I mean, sword thrusts? That sounds pretty gruesome to me.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how true it was. When someone has hurt me through thoughtless and hastily spoken words, it has felt like daggers being thrust into my soul. Likewise, when I have spoken rashly to others, I have done the same to them. It seems that it happens more often with people I love the most.

As I realized the implications of this I prayed then and there that God would help me not to speak rashly but that my words would bring healing to others. Does that mean I will never speak rashly again? I think not. We will not become perfect this side of heaven. Even though God knows that we are frail and will sin, He still loves us more than we can imagine. There is always forgiveness and a new beginning. That is such a comforting thought.

The second part of the verse is equally strong. “...But the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Sometimes the right words spoken can be the healing balm that is needed. A wise person will listen to others and wait before speaking instead of just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. A wise person will assess the situation and find words that will encourage and help others.

I don't think it is a mistake that these two clauses are together in this verse. Yes, they are contrasting two different types of responses and could be referring to completely different situations, but I think they can also be applied to the same person. If I have hurt someone by my rash words, I can go to them asking for forgiveness and then bring words of healing to them.

Sometimes we have to say some very hard things, which, if taken wrongly may cause hurt. If our words are seasoned with grace, maybe they will bring healing despite the hurt. May God enable us to use our words wisely and cause them to ultimately bring healing to ourselves and others.




Prompt: Are there some hard things you need to say? Can you say them in a way that will help to bring healing ?

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