The other day my daughter Meaghan told me she had an idea for something she'd like to write for PlayFull. I said, "Go for it!"
And...she did it. She's amazing...:-)
I hope you find what she has to say helpful. I know I did.
Thanks for reading,
The Tongue of the Wise
by Meaghan Cady
The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Lately I have been finding myself in a hurtful environment made up of simple words. Not all of us may realize it but I’m sure at one point or another these words have made serious impacts in our lives. Sometimes those impacts are negative. Sometimes they’re not. There may even be some moments when we want to escape from all the chatter and noise and submerge ourselves completely in silence. Whenever that’s the case for me after a rough day at school, I just go home and read or lie down for a bit. Even then, I am still vulnerable to anger and doubt where I least expect it.
One situation in which this has happened a lot to me is watching YouTube videos. Mostly I would watch clips from movies or TV shows that I haven’t seen in a while so that I know what’s coming. Then there would be other things that pop up and catch my attention so I go on to see those. Now the new videos are fine but no matter how hard I try I usually catch a glimpse at the comments below. Sure enough, there is a comment that says something completely offensive to the uploader, which in turn offends me as well.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: It’s not even my business what people say to the uploaders so I shouldn’t take things so personally. But I do. There have been times when I felt compelled to write a comment to the offender and tell them to “shut up and go do something better than view videos they don’t want to watch.” Thankfully though, I always stop myself and I’m not entirely sure why. Either I felt scared that my parents wouldn’t approve of it or I just figured it wouldn’t be worth it anyway. Whatever the reason, I now know that I shouldn’t ever turn to that action. How did I figure this out? I’ll give you a hint: It’s at the top of the page. Recently that verse has shown up and spoke to me in a way that it didn’t when I heard it last time. Let’s take a look at the two different parts of this verse.
First part: The words of the reckless pierce like swords. As I mentioned before, we live in a world that’s filled with harmful words. As a Christian, I hope to rid my tongue of filthy language and attacking phrases. Sometimes, however, even those who profess Christianity can lose control of themselves. We are human, too. We want to fight back with people who start a quarrel with us. It may seem that we are defending the truth while looking courageous at the same time, but in reality, we have it all wrong. If we fight back with the same weapons used by our offenders, doesn’t that give them a reason to continue fighting us? Not only that, but as we wage our small battles with one another we can find that, slowly but surely, we are giving those who insult us even more satisfaction.
Second part: The tongue of the wise brings healing. To make things better we need to speak kind words—even to those who may insult us. Our natural response to this might sound something like: “WHAT?!! Are you kidding me? People swear at me or disrespect me all the time, and you want me to be kind even with my mouth?!”
That’s pretty much what I think most of the time when I hear this part of the verse. I’m not very good with controlling my words or actions when my mind is troubled. I try…but then fail by the end of the day. That’s why the second half of the verse is even more important than the first half. If we were to just stand there and accept all the harsh words spoken to us, then we wouldn’t be any better than the people speaking in the first place. But if we stood up and spoke with the truth and life the Bible gives us, then we would be bringing light into this world with every single thing we say. Of course, I’m not saying that just kind words will immediately shut our attackers up. They will definitely want to keep attacking just to get something out of you. But if you keep using your words for good maybe they will see that their words no longer affect you; then, perhaps they will see the same light that you see now.
If you’re still reading this, then hopefully it’s because this article has meant something to you. Just remember that if you're like me and want to scream back at people when they attack you, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords”. Let’s resist the temptation to kill other people with our words and bring darkness into the world. And if you’re one of those bystanders who just lets yourself or others get hurt, “The tongue of the wise brings healing”. You already have your defense against hurtful words. Now all you have to do is turn it into your offensive so that you can speak the life that you have been given by God.