- Psalm 141:3
A hard life lesson:
Words can have "forever" consequences.
Words are like feathers in the wind. Once they are scattered, there is no way to retrieve them all again. It is a sad, sad thought to realize that a once happy relationship will never be the same again because of words that I spoke long ago. We must take great care about the words that we speak.
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer."
- Psalm 19:14
I have been reading Dr. James Dobson's, Bringing Up Boys lately and came across a wonderful analogy. I think I am pretty safe in saying that most of my readers are women, so a golf analogy may not be the easiest one for you to latch onto. But it is so good, I'll share anyway. I actually took a semester of golf as a P.E. class in college. It was annoying as I had no interest in golf whatsoever, but it was one of the only classes that would meet the requirement and fit into my tightly packed schedule. One of the first things we learned is that whenever you swing your club and knock up a little bit of the turf on the ground, it is good golfing etiquette to repair the damage (called a divot). Right next to the green where you tee off, is a bucket with some grass seed and fertilizer, and if you make a divot, you sprinkle a bit of the stuff over the damaged turf, and replace the patch of grass if at all possible. Pat it down, use your little divot tool, and it should heal up in a few days.
If no one fixes the divot, and it bakes in the sun for a day or two, or a week or two, or a year or two, or... more, what would happen to the beautiful, lush green? It gets an ugly dead spot. The one little spot you made may not seem so bad to you, but what if no one repaired their divots? At the end of a week, there could be a hundred ugly dead spots!
So back to my discussion on words...
When you make a divot in someone's heart because of the words that you spoke, do your best to repair that divot right away. Do not leave that open wound to "bake in the sun". Nourish the relationship with healing words AND actions, patch it back up so that the roots will take hold again in the relationship and the wounded heart has a chance to heal. The longer you wait to work on the damage, the harder you will have to work on the repair. And the sad reality is that sometimes no matter what you do, things will never be quite the same, which is why we should try to never hurt with our words in the first place.
"Therefore, laying aside falsehood,
speak truth each of you with his neighbor,
for we are members of one another.
Be angry, and yet do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger;
and do not give the devil an opportunity."
- Ephesians 4:25-27
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."
- Romans 12:18