Years ago, my heart broke upon hearing that a relative had spoken unkindly to another member of my family. I knew how badly those words could damage my loved one’s soul. I felt completely helpless at the time, so I prayed. “God, how can I stop this person from saying such hurtful words?”
“You can’t stop them, but you can speak the truth.” The Lord’s response came to me as both an empowering revelation and an exhortation. God’s truth is greater than any lie—and people desperately need to hear this truth coming from our mouth.
The Lord has reminded me of this incident numerous times. He has also deepened my understanding of the lesson I learned that day. At the Lord’s prompting, I’m sharing this insight with you.
Sometimes, we are the ones on the receiving end of harsh words. Although these words hurt, they do not change our value. We all are created in the image of God, and therefore, worthy of life, love, and respect. Besides, there is something greater than careless words that can’t be taken back. “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Our purpose and our power to fulfill it remain, no matter what anyone else says about us.
We know from the Bible that words have the power of life and death in them, and we wield this power when we speak. According to Proverbs 12:18, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Someone else’s words may have cut us, but our words can mend the wound. Instead of repeating damaging words out loud or to ourselves, we can meditate on and speak the truth that calms our mind, heals our heart, and protects us when we are still vulnerable.
When we let the truth strengthen and restore us, we can continue walking in our destiny. Many are waiting on us to do what God designed us to do. Our children need mothers and fathers who team up to guide them on the right path. Our friends need the encouragement that comes from our testimony. The world needs to see our love, so they will come to know the love God has for them, too.
Our words matter. We can use them to help ourselves as well as others. Instead of worrying about stopping the wrong words, let’s focus on delivering the right words—truthful ones that bring clarity, hope for the future, and wellbeing.