In my past I was known for telling people “off”. It was my reputation. Living with this sin right beside me I took pride in being able to hurt people with my words. I did not realize that one day I would deal with the consequence of “not caring” how others took my words. To add, I didn’t realize that hurtful words would come from different people or rather, from those that I would not expect it from.
In response to my “receiving” what I had given out so often, I developed a tough skin. I convinced myself that words just wouldn’t hurt me. I built a wall around myself and kept going. What did hurt were the relationships that died as result of the words being exchanged. I could forgive someone for the things that they had said and I could ask for forgiveness for the things that I said, but relationships were stalled or left for dead thereafter.
I lost precious years with a dear loved one because neither of us knew the right “words” to say to one another. We loved each other but we spent too much time saying ugly words to one another. I made the decision to stay away from my relative and not deal with the situation because I felt that neither of us was willing to change.
During this time apart, we both went on with our lives. We both grew closer to God, but not closer to each other. I learned, coincidentally, and by way of other stalled relationships that my telling people “off”, wasn’t working. God was showing me the damage that was being caused. God began to show me the hearts that were left broken, the lives that weren’t being changed for the better. I began to recognize that if a person will ever change for the better, it had to be done in love.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3
God uses love when dealing with us. I had to stop and think about this. The most powerful being on earth uses love to compel us, convince us, to help us understand and to bring us closer to Him. I’m human without the power to give life, take life, cause the sun to shine or the rain to fall. I needed to follow God’s example to me.
Be ye angry, and sin not… Ephesians 4:26a
God had begun to make it very clear that it was time for me to do better in this area of my life. Now I had to deal with the consequences. The first thing were the trials. Our trials build character and patience. During each trial, our job is to resist the temptation so that we overcome it. I started enduring a lot of disrespect and I had to learn how to respond to it. What words would bring peace to the situation? How do I explain myself without hurting the person attacking me? What do I say Lord? I still say these prayers.
As I grew stronger with every trial, God saw fit to reunite me with my loved one. We reconnected as if no time had come between us. We connected in a new way and it was a blessing to both of us. Unfortunately, our time was short. We had 1 year together and God decided that it was time for my loved one to rest. My heart feels this loss every single day.
Since that time I’ve continued to have words hurled at me. Up until today, I’ve had people feel that they are telling me “off”. I’ve learned to pray and pattern my words so that I am not the attacker. I’ve learned to love my enemies, bless them that curse me, do good to them that hate me, and pray for them that despitefully use me and persecute me. Matthew 5:44
I’m not saying that it doesn’t hurt, because IT HURTS. Especially when those words eat away at a relationship. It’s different from a stranger, but it hurts when it comes from those you love, those you never expected it from, those that you may have never spoken a horrible word to ever in your life.
What I can tell you is what I’ve learned…Hold on to God’s hand in your situation. Pray about it, cry out to God about it. Allow God to comfort you and whatever you do…don’t return 1 bad word. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of giving someone a “piece of your mind”. Don’t let someone else encourage you to do anything that isn’t from a loving heart. It won’t pay. It won’t benefit you. It won’t help the situation, it will only create distance, bitterness and hurt. Instead, repair the bridge that the other person is tearing apart.
God will take care of you and bless you…just wait and see.