I really could not tell you how many times I have had my “size nine” foot in my mouth. I’m can’t remember what crow tastes like, but I have partaken in this bitter bird more than I care to recall. Words of scorn, criticism, and gossip has no place in either my life in Christ, nor my life in recovery from alcoholism. Too many times I have been critical in an attempt to be funny, not to put down, but this is totally unbecoming for a follower of Jesus. Words can tear down, they can build up. What rolls off of the tongue can be a curse, or a blessing…literally. Also, my words can put me in chains to others.
“You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.” Prov.6:2 NKJV
It is important to see character defects in myself. Yes, they are repugnant, reminding me of the heavy hurts and personal pain experienced from the cutting remarks from others. Especially those I wanted to be accepted by. Their words have carved me into a work of art you would say looks like a Picasso, “what is that ugly thing?” How did I respond to put-downs? I put someone else down. Maybe it was a morbid desire to share my pain with others.
Thank God for the gift of understanding how important it is to eliminate bad behaviors, sins that separate me from blessings, and from serving others. I desire to heal with what comes from my mouth, to pick up the broken person no one has ever been kind to. They are everywhere. So many coming into recovery carry the pain from words, inflicted on them by parents, siblings, and acquaintances that have been treated in the same manner.
It is easy to hurt with words, but words can also trap you, place you into bondage. Making promises can be a curse from allowing your mouth to write checks your abilities cannot cash. Once you have committed you are snared, the person you promised, owns you. “Why didn’t I keep my big mouth shut?” you ask. The same reason we all do. We insist on self promotion, not honesty. Saying you will do this or that, and then not keeping your word, reflects you lack integrity and cannot be trusted. If you are in that situation, the passage above and read a little further.
“…do this,…deliver yourself, for you have come into the hand of your friend: go and humble yourself; plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes…deliver yourself..Prov.6 :3-4
Admission is embarrassing, but freeing. If you don’t do this, admit you can’t follow through with what you promised, expect the cutting, hurtful words to come from others. Maybe you learn a lesson; don’t use your words to make impossible promises, don’t open your mouth in critical words or gossip. Let your words be a healing balm that brings God glory. Promise what your talents can deliver. Here’s a great use for your words, pray for those who have cut you with comments, ask God to open their eyes to the way their mouth works to snare them, or free them.
Heal with your words, keep yourself free from criticism, not just saying, but doing what you promise. Use the wonderful gift of language and communication to speak kindness, mercy, hope. Build each other up, blessing and filling all with faith.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!