This week I’m recovering from an especially painful episode. Sometimes the skin on my hands have sores and the cracks when exposed to too much moisture. It’s not until the condition produces pain that I notice it.
The treatment is three-fold: less exposure to moisture, application of a prescription cream and hand lotion, and more thorough drying of my hands. All of which take intentionality.
This week I’ve also been thinking about my words. I’ve gotten the message in a book I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, and verses I’m memorizing (Proverbs 15). My words can wound. I need to use encouraging words.
Here’s my problem. I avoid people who wound me with their words. I have been wounded so much in the past and those wounds haven’t healed. But I can’t totally avoid those people, plus they are the ones who need to hear encouraging words from me the most. And if Christ lives within me, shouldn’t I be able to impart life with my words to even those people who consistently impart death to me?
Yes! But how?
I pondered that question one night as I brushed my teeth. Two answers came to mind. 1. Increase my intake of God’s Word. (He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:20 ESV) 2. Stop saying and thinking belittling things about myself. (“I’m hopeless. I can’t learn this,” I said recently about something on the computer.)
The next day, I thought of something else. 3. Say complimentary, positive, and encouraging statements to others. Those words will bring healing to the person I am speaking to and to myself. In addition to those three points, when I am with someone who habitually sends wounding words, I need to have a caring, humble attitude toward them. I shouldn’t expect the situation to change, but I shouldn’t focus on the wounding words either. I can affirm the person and realize that their cutting words are often a means of increasing their feeling of self-importance. Maybe if I affirmed them, the speaker would stop their wounding words. After all, the words are not only hurting me, but are hurting that person as well.
In summary, here’s my approach to healing from wounds from words:
1. Increase my intake of God’s Word.
2. Stop saying and thinking belittling things about myself.
3. Say complimentary, positive, and encouraging statements to others.
How do you promote healing with your words?