I’ve been disconcerted this week at how quickly and easily folks seem to judge and criticize other people, then publicize their toxic views in any number of ways—through the news, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, social grapevines, and outright bullying. Or even just in traffic!
Perhaps in a world of instant technology, folks have forgotten about thinking the best of people and processing their reactions before status posting, firing off rash emails, or maligning someone’s character through damaging gossip.
Our words carry power. We can use them to bless or to curse. When we denounce someone, we drag people down with us into our negative spiral. Folks can feel our disparagement even by what we mutter behind their backs. In the last few days, I’ve wiped the tears of several friends who have experienced harsh criticism, and I have also been stung by people’s unkind words.
I know I am not perfect, and I also know most of the verbal attacks are not about me—or you—but rather an indication of folks who are at their tipping point themselves and need to lash out. Most people do it without thinking.
But, we need to think before we speak!
Some people are not ‘happy’ unless they are miserable. Spewing their ills only serves to spread their bitterness. Mouths speak hurting words from the overflow of what is in the heart.
With the difficulties in our world today, why would we think it is ok to censure anyone? Why not stop before we say something that hurts and check the negative words at the door and find something positive to say instead? Seems all of humanity needs extra grace, kindness, and blessing about now.
Life is hard for a lot of folks. You never know who is going through WHAT—we can’t assume. Finances are tight or exhausted. People’s precious businesses are going under. Loved ones are hurting. Stress affects us all, and sometimes health issues arise, which costs more concern and money. Many of my deeply spiritual friends who are normally peace-seekers are experiencing overwhelming anxiety. Let’s help lighten each others’ burdens.
An encouraging, healing word goes a long way toward helping a person get through a difficult day. It is never wrong to speak to each other with honor and respect. We get double blessed when we search to find a gem within someone and praise it.
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” –Proverbs 12:18
Our Words—Are They Harming or Healing?