By Robin Walls
I heard something recently that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. At church, we were in the middle of the series about relationships called Picture Perfect. Pastor Matt said that the tongue can either build someone up or break them down.
“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
It made me think about which one I would be remembered for- building up or breaking down. I’d like to think that it would be the first one. Why wouldn’t it be, right? I have always been told that if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all and I have tried to live by that.
I’m happy. I try to be nice. I like to have fun. I make jokes. I love to make people smile. I love big. But even if I want to be, I’m not always positive. More than I would like to admit, I have been guilty of speaking without thinking, of spitting out a harsh word when I may have had a bad day or my patience has been low, or of opening my mouth and letting words come out with no thought of how my words will affect the other person.
I am a mom, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a friend so when I think of who I may have hurt with my words, I could provide a list of people… people I love so much and who love me. They are the last people I would ever want to hurt in the world. But it’s ok. They know me. They know I am a big personality. They know I have a crazy life. (Can anyone relate?) I am human and I make mistakes. They know that no matter what I say, I really don’t mean any harm. Right? Wrong! I have no excuse or justification for saying words that cause someone pain. As a lover and follower of Jesus, I am called to do the opposite.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Someone who breaks people down? That is not who I want to be. I want to be someone who builds people up, an encourager. I want people to see Jesus when they see me or hear me talk or watch me parent or watch me be a friend. I want them to feel the love from me that I feel from Him.
So I do what I always do. I go to the One I know loves me unconditionally through my victories and my failures and I pray. I am so thankful for His mercy and that each day He makes all things new!