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“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
Tucked into my heart are echoes of profanity attached to unkind words like selfish and fat and holier than thou. The words I’ve been called became like burrs—difficult to extract and painful to the touch—sensitive areas that triggered a knee-jerk response that then wounded others. It’s like a steam geyser from Yellowstone Park that randomly explodes boiling water into the air and those that are too close get burned. The problem with reckless words is that we absorb them into our identity causing us to live like victims. Wounded hearts wound others, and when we live as victims we don’t live as victors and conquerors in Christ. Our words become like a sword that cuts and wounds others rather than a salve that heals hearts.
We speak out of the overflow of our hearts. If we want our words to bring life and healing, but our hearts fester with wounds, then we must deal with the wounds that reckless words bring. We need to bring our wounded places to the Lord for healing, and then ask Him to shape our hearts before we ask Him to shape our behavior. Any lasting change begins in our heart. Failure will frustrate us if all we focus on is our behavior and neglect our hearts because we change from the inside out. This proverb warns us not to be reckless with our words and encourages us to speak with healing. Let God heal your heart so your words bring life.
Oh God, forgive us for being reckless with our words and holding too tightly to the reckless words that have wounded us. We bring before you our heart’s wounds and ask that you would heal our hearts by pouring the salve of your truth on us. You love us and call us yours and nothing can separate us from your love. Let us turn to you rather than to revenge. Change us from the inside out and let our words reflect the healing you’ve done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.