The Dangers of Word-Wielding

” … the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” James 5:11

” The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities, for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For He remembers our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” from Psalm 103

” … You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness …” Nehemiah 9:17

How I want to be more like my Father.

I am a girl who likes to be right. Especially when I am “right-er” than someone else. Which once in awhile, I am. And when I am right-er, I like to point it out. Clearly. With emphasis.

Sigh. Pray for my family.

I can deconstruct your argument in 30 seconds or less, because I can see the weakness at 50 paces. I will point out every flaw and hole in your case. If I begin a letter to you with “First of all,” you can probably hear the gun cock. Someone is going down, and it is not going to be me.

I’ve prided myself in my word-wielding; it’s true. It comes in handy in arguments, as it did in memorizing lines for plays and verses for song performances. I love words; love to write them and rewrite them, arrange them and rearrange them. 

And of course, it’s a gift; one the Lord gave me for good–the thing I find “in my hand,” like Moses’ staff.

Here’s the tricky thing about a shepherd’s staff–it can be used to pull sheep back from the precipice, or to beat them over the head. It can be used to point out which direction the sheep should head in, or to prod them in the rear. For comfort or compulsion; both are possible when one carries a staff.

So it is with words for many of us; within them lies the danger of word-wielding. It’s possible for us to demolish an opponent’s argument. Must we demolish the opponent, too, in the process? If we tear apart the case they’re making, do they feel we’ve torn them apart, too? Are we merely destroying rather than directing? Does it do any good if we point out someone’s wrong-ness, if their feelings toward us become such that they’ll never listen to our words again?

I pray today to become more like my Father; that the fires of trial are bringing dross to the surface and His image in me clears. I pray that He will “set a guard over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips,” Psalm 141:3. I pray that I will reflect this elusive quality, most of all:

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8

 And I pray I’ll remember to ask myself this question, whenever I wield words … Do I sound like my Father?

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3 Responses to The Dangers of Word-Wielding

  1. Jeanna Young says:

    Thanks Misty!  I needed that today.  Blessings to you!

  2. Jhartfield says:

    I can totally relate to this Misty!  I need constant reminders to use my words graciously and in love!

  3. Chelsea says:

    Definitely guilty as charged of that one…sigh… 😉

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