There is a game that I found through Facebook called Word with Friends. It is a game very similar to Scrabble and I enjoy it very much. Building vocabulary, chatting with friends, stress relief are all benefits of the game for me. I’ve had to stop playing it temporarily because I had too many games simultaneously and it was becoming time-consuming. I hope to start back soon, but with fewer games so I can finish what I start.
Words with friends….Facebook friends and scrabble tiles don’t make for real conversation and connection. Words are powerful. They can build up or tear down. Such a small muscle, the tongue. As a rudder steers a ship, it can steer the course of a relationship with one misguided word. The book of James chapter 3 has much to say about taming the tongue. Perhaps I should go back and read it AGAIN.
I admit that I have allowed the power of one word to sway me. Instead of processing all of the many positive words I’ve heard and read, I often allow one negative word to derail me. This negative word can be spoken by another, typed in an email or even uttered out of my mouth. I mean total derail. Emotional eating. Missing workouts. Naps. Depression. Tears and loss of ambition. One misplaced word can rock my world. I realize that it isn’t the word. It’s my hearing and perceiving of it. I must choose how I handle these words and these friends.
I’ve also been totally guilty of sabotaging myself, being my own worst critic and speaking loss over my life. I’ve spent most of my life being a “glass half empty” kind of girl. I must make better choices as to speak life over myself and speak the only TRUTH…God’s word over my life and the lives of those I love.
Recently I’ve heard words that were painful, stinging and brought sadness, challenge and doubt to my heart and mind. I say “heard” but really I read them. Odd thing communication….some people just don’t understand that true communication should happen face to face. Quite often confrontation happens via email or passive-aggressive FB posts. Occasionally a phone call is the only way that communication can take place. In my opinion this is better than the prior options. This is not the first time this kind of thing has happened to me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. To be honest this has happened three times in my life. One relationship was reconciled after many years. We don’t talk much at all. In fact I still feel the relationship is a bit one-sided, but I can look back at our years of friendship with fondness and peace. One relationship is over. I don’t think there is any coming back and I’ve already spent too much time feeling sorrow about it. Truly, it’s done and I’m grateful for the chance to have been a part of this persons life but I don’t ever see friendship being possible between us. This most recent situation is certainly not comfortable and it is yet to be determined whether or not the relationship can be reconciled.
I didn’t choose for these situations to happen, and I certainly didn’t choose for those words to be used or spoken to me or over me. However, I did choose how to respond. As a matter of fact, I’m still choosing. I’m still processing the hurt, anger, disappointment and confusion. I’ve admitted my part. My hurtful words. My misgivings and betrayals. I’m also processing the words that were used. Some of them ring true, some were just typed out of anger and personal hurt. Some were relevant, some were completely off base. That isn’t the issue. The real issue for me is….better or bitter???? I’ve read and reread the messages (before deleting them, no use to hang onto that emotional fodder). I’ve prayed for the sender (s). I’ve prayed for myself. I’ve done everything within my power to live at peace and make amends and my heart is pure before the Lord. My head can hit the pillow and I can rest at night knowing I’ve done all I can do. Although my heart is sad and I will miss these relationships there are times simply when the only common ground is the differences.
As to the power of words. Please be careful, mindful, honest and authentic when you speak with people. If you have to type them to share something be aware of any innuendos are ways that things could be interpreted inaccurately. Read and reread posts. Don’t use FB as a platform to blast people and hide behind the words of others. Be real. Be open. Be truthful and courageous in your friendships. Live your life and please an audience of One. To have friends, you must be a friend. Choose your words carefully and your friends with even more caution. Be aware that mistakes happen, and extend grace.
Gods Words has lots to say about speech. Here are just a few references that I found helpful. Col. 3:16 states “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Col. 4:6 says “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Eph. 4:15 says “ Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ..” and finally Eph. 4:29 “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.”
I’m not perfect when making word choices. I still have much to learn, but I’m praying for wisdom, grace and the ability to love others as Christ and to speak words that truly build and bless. So if I’ve hurt you with my words I’m sorry. I’m still learning. Thanks for the grace…..