Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Our world is struggling in communication. Communicating thoughts, differences, hurts, and irritations are ignored, handled improperly, or impersonally through electronic communication. Social media, organizational bureaucracy, and communication systems create a conducive environment for rude communication without consideration for other people. The more our society removes personalization the more we treat others the way we would never treat those we care about. Allowing God to reveal these dark spots while increasing our sensitivity to hurtful words will help us learn to use words that bring peace instead of conflict; understanding instead of strife; communication instead of anger and divisiveness. God in us should result in an environment that develops healthy, growing relationships instead of wounded, confrontational relationships. Resolving conflict sounds easy, but it takes the Holy Spirit’s transforming work to begin to move from reckless words that kill to wise words that heal. This style of language flows out of a deepening, intimate, passionate relationship with Christ.
Reckless words by either person can propel the offender into a new area of conflict and sin. Proverbs 12:20 labels this area of sin as deceit, “There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace.” It is hard to leave hurtful words and actions unanswered. Words that hurt, offend, insult, and slander just seem to justify us giving back an improper response! Deceit releases further hurtful actions that are masks for unrelated issues. It is hard to resolve minor injustices that have now escalated to what neither party fully understands. Deceit allows satan to enter the conflict making it difficult for the flesh to say, “I am sorry,” or “will you forgive me,” which often leads to more “words” that hurt. By this time, you have forgotten who was wrong and how you got to where you are because the new offense (from words) is often worse than the first, creating a whole new drama. Allowing “words” and “deceit” to spiral out of control can be curtailed by focusing on God’s righteousness, while drawing upon the Holy Spirit for healing, understanding, and God’s redemptive work. This change naturally occurs as your relationship with Christ grows in passion and intimacy. Romans 12:21 teaches us to allow God to consume our conflicts: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The tongue is one of the most destructive instruments we use. One of the best ways to gain control of the tongue is to be the servant Jesus talks about in Mark 10:43-44, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” Becoming a servant immediately gives you a perspective that diminishes conflict, while accentuating relationship. You must allow God to take you into a lifestyle that abandons your flesh while uplifting Christ and His righteousness.
Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
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