"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
There's always a way to say everything. If you don't know how to say it, either ask someone for advice...or just DON'T SAY IT. Sometimes we don't understand the power of not only our words, but the way we say them.
I will never forget this one incident where someone called me out of my name. I have grown up being called "beautiful", "pretty", "strong", "virtuous", "gorgeous", and many more flattering things. However, that one innapropriate name and the hate for the person who called me that name stuck with me longer than the memory of all those flattering titles. Although I knew that I didn't fit the description of the name that that person had called me, it still hurt me because I valued that person's opinion of me.
It is common that we are prone to remember the one bad or hurtful thing spoken to us over all of the good and complimentary things that we've heard. Because of this, we must work hard to acknowledge the good things. I just started "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer and she reiterates that it is a CHOICE to dwell on either negative or positive thoughts. We have the power to decide the state of our mind. Not to say that hurtful words don't sting or that they won't try to remain in our heads, but that is where God's Word and prayer comes in.
18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
and spreads slander is a fool.
19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
but the prudent hold their tongues.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
Have you been running your mouth? Have you hurt someone with your words? Are your words HELPING someone? Do you need to apologize to someone? Do it today. Don't allow your pride to hold you hostage to sin.
Remember this: We will have to give an account for every single one of our words. Before you speak, think about if it's necessary, harmful, or even true. When in doubt, just Shhhhh.
Have you ever wished that you could take back something that you may have said to someone, or about someone? Maybe if you would have just reworded that phrase, or changed the delivery of your expressed point of view. Well, I know exactly how that feels. I have been a culprit of saying things that have not only hurt feelings, but have escalated what should have been a calm disagreement. It takes two people to argue. This scripture (Proverbs 15:1) tells us that we must answer softly. The worst thing we can do is pout and not talk. At times, we should even consider silently praying a few minutes and then responding calmly. I'm sure you've noticed that screaming never accomplishes anything. Angry words bring angry words in return. One thing we know is that problems or disagreements become difficult to settle when everyone has said too much. The best way is to stay calm and talk quietly. Solomon, as conservator of the public peace, tells us how the peace may be kept, that we may know how in our places to keep it. This verse tells us in not so many words, to always express your thoughts in love, even when we want to snap our fingers and roll those necks. Think about how many times we could have prevented an argument with our loved ones if we could have just changed our words. I had to realize that if someone is upset with me, even if it is not my fault, I can end the matter peaceably by responding gently and kindly, rather than with my "that's just how I am" attitude in defense. When you realize that meekness is the quality that trusts God to do the work of changing attitudes, we are more mindful of how we settle disputes. People in this world are our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we only knew what dangerous fires of hatred are kindled by words spoken in haste just because we want to have the last word, or tell someone "off" . Why crush one another's spirit because we want to hold on to our pride? Words can't be retracted; once they're out, they're out. So the next time you're in a dispute, clearly think about how your words will have an affect on the outcome. Also, think about how it will effect the other person. When it's getting to a point of no return....just "Shhhhh".