Words—the Power to Change Lives

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:15-16)

My hatA couple of weeks ago, I wore this hat to my doctor’s appoint and received several favorable comments. Later that day, someone made a negative dig. It shattered the positive remarks—all of them. I wrestled with my response for hours. Why had one ill-mannered knock overridden the many positive reinforcements? Why do we take such disagreeable tones into our spirits and allow them to push out what brings peace and assurance? Why did I?

It took a lot of self-talk to overcome the potential destruction. Did the offender mean to cause me hurt? No. I really don’t think so. Although her remark stabbed me like a knife, she thought she was being funny. I held back tears as I struggled to put things into proper perspective.

Here’s the thing:

  1. This person has always enjoyed making crude remarks just to get a reaction from her target (by her own admission). I had to consider her nature.
  2. Forgiveness is the only key to unlocking the chains that can enter our spirits from such attacks. I had to count her as innocent … as though she didn’t know what she was doing.
  3. I had to reassess all the positive input. Sure, some people give compliments as unthinkingly as others give insults. Nevertheless, there are just as many sincere people who, not only want to make us feel good, but truly are pleased or impressed with our choices of style. I worked hard to latch onto those comments, allowing them to nurture my spirit instead of permitting the condemning statement to tear me apart.

I need to move on from this experience, keeping in mind I’m not the only one sensitive to sarcastic comments. And my friend isn’t the only one prone to make them. I can’t change her. But I can bridle my own tongue.

God has given us a tremendous power and responsibility through words. Whether written or spoken they can destroy or build a life.

I want to be a builder.

How about you? How can you build someone else’s life with your words?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks


9 thoughts on “Words—the Power to Change Lives

  1. It takes courage to be strong from negativity. Jesus and David went through a hell lot of bullies and negativity. Sometimes, it is good to take a step back and see through the eyes of God. I remember getting strengthened by God to go and explain to that wrongful person with wisdom that wasn’t a respectful comment which I didn’t enjoy about anything and noghing. If that person stops her nastiness i can still have a relationship but otherwise I move on if that person continued to make nasty comments on purpose for everyone to enjoy. We deserve respect. I can let it go and pray for that person but it is recurrent and tear me apart. I rather end the relationship for it can make us so crushed that we cannot be useful to reach out. Hope that helps!!! You look beautiful!!!

    • Thanks, Sana. Your comments do help. But some relationship we cannot just walk away from. Some we are called to nurture and try to direct toward our Father. So walking away from a relationship must only come with His permission. Brenda

      • Hi, Brenda. Thank you for your comments. I agree that we can stay in a relationship if we are bringing something positive to the other person and God is working in that person through us. That takes discernment. However, we can walk out of a relationship if our life is in danger of staying with a person and wants to kill us or lead us into sin. David had to run away from Saul who was violent.

      • I absolute agree if we are in danger of physical harm or even mental abuse we should walk out of the relationship. But too often, people decide to flee when God wants to use them. Yes, it takes a lot of prayer and discernment.

  2. I love how you look in this hat! So fresh and cheery. a breath of fresh air. Thanks for your great example! You always can find a way to turn things around. That is such a testimony! Hugs and prayers. , Kathy

    • Thanks, Kathy. I’m better at retrospect. The trick is to remember the lesson learned during the time of offense and not cause more injury to yourself of the other party. I need to work on that. Brenda

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