A little while back something was said to me during a conversation that left me speechless. All I could do was put on a plastic smile and make a generic comment. I quickly excused myself and walked away. Less than five minutes later, I was fuming. I spouted off to Joel about what this person said. I was so angry I didn’t even care that my children were in close listening range. I do remember taming down my comments, but they still were not kind or gracious by any means.
As the days after this confrontation wore on, I was consumed by the words spoken to me. I spent many moments playing the incident back in my mind. I thought up all kinds of witty remarks. Some that were pretty caustic and unnecessary. Things, that given the opportunity, I would never say. Yet, I thought them. I continued through the days thinking horrible angry thoughts. Every thing about this person began to irritate me. And since we often have close contact with one another, I began to feel very bitter.
Nasty thoughts about this person filled my mind every time anything about her was mentioned. Anger and a sense of injustice began to take control. My mind began dwelling on the negative thoughts I was having The more I thought about it the angrier I got. I knew I needed to forgive. But I didn’t really want to. This person has always had a grating opinionated tongue and I honestly was SICK of it.
But, the angrier I got the worse I felt. It seemed that all my thoughts were being consumed by this person. As the week progressed I knew I needed to forgive because I was becoming a mess.
On Thursday evening I went to Bible Study. We had an awesome time of just playing worship music and praising God. It was during that time that God reminded me how clueless and careless people can be with their words. While listening to songs of God’s amazing love, I was reminded of His redemption. How He died for my sins. How He continually forgives and forgets all my transgressions. And how He desires for me to forgive those who wrong me. It was there during that time of worship that I gave all my hurt to my Savior. It was there that He placed His healing hand on my heart and mended the cuts and bruises. It was there through His grace and mercy I was able to forgive.
The thing is, I know that this person is clueless about how angry her words made me. I’m sure she is clueless about how they hurt me. I pretty sure she’s clueless about how harsh and demanding they sounded. I’m sure she wasn’t dwelling on her careless words like I was. That’s the thing isn’t it! I let that anger consume me. I let the enemy get a toe hold and before I knew it he was ready to move on in.
The beautiful thing about this is that through her cluelessness she reminded me of an important lesson.
Careless words and thoughts are extremely damaging.
I Peter 3:8-11 says,
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
Through all of this I have learned once again (and I am still learning) how crucial it is to be careful of my words and thoughts. I do not want to be thought of as careless and clueless. I want to be compassionate with my words. I desire to love others as Christ loves them. I don’t want to appear clueless about others feelings.
And when someone once again hurts me with their careless words I want to forgive as God has forgiven me. I do not want to repay evil for evil, but repay the insult with love, kindness and mercy.