By: Mandy Hill
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
Last week I shared a post encouraging us to weigh each word we speak, even those words we speak to those who are closest to us; our spouse. (You can find part I: HERE). I encouraged us all to think on three things before speaking: 1) Are you angry. 2) Are your words going to build up or tear down? 3) Are you listening?
Today I’d like to encourage us all to examine the other side of things. How do we deal when something that was said to us, causes us an offence.
Like I mentioned last week, the more comfortable you find yourself with someone, the freer you speak, and the more possibilities there are for an offence. Let’s take a look at some scriptures to help us conquer those words that have cut us, spoken by someone we love so much.
1) Know your enemy.
We all (at one point and another) will get tangled up into the lies of the enemy. There is nothing he would love more than to sever relationships and stir up discord. When someone causes you an offence, remember immediately who your enemy is. It is not your spouse. It is not your friend. It is not your relative. Your enemy is the father of lies. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV) Instead of falling for the enemy’s traps, pray without ceasing for the one who’s words have caused you pain. Pray for freedom from the enemy’s schemes.
2) Drop the “I”m perfect” mentality.
Unless you’ve never said a mean thing in your life….don’t act like you have. The ugly truth is that we ALL make mistakes. We ALL say things that we regret. If you’re having trouble with an offence that someone has caused you- ask The Lord to help you with that. Pray for peace over that situation. Furthermore, forgive your offender (even if he or she didn’t ask). “And forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12 NET)
3) Resist the urge to ‘pour salt on an open wound.’
It’s likely that the person causing you an offence is struggling with something themselves. If you are offended by something someone has spoken to you, resist the urge to respond offensively. Our flesh will want to seek justice and revenge, however, with Christ in us we are called to act differently. Walk away and instead of responding immediately, seek The Lord for the appropriate response.
4) Consider the source.
Sometimes it’s a persons personality to speak sarcastically and offensively. To them, their words were never intended to hurt you, rather to make you laugh. It would be wise to take this persons words lightly; don’t allow them to sink too deep.
Likewise, a person may speak words that have been purposely and carefully chosen. Consider the source. Is this individual someone you trust; someone who has proven to act with a Godly character? If so, while their words may feel ugly to you, consider a new perspective. God may have spoken through that person, words you needed to hear in those moments. Ask God to reveal to you the condition of your heart. Perhaps there is any area of your heart that needs some work.
Life is too short to dwell on words spoken harshly or without thought. Learn the art of receiving words in a Christ-like manner so that you won’t find yourself harnessed down with an offence.
Jesus, thank You so much for the wisdom found in Your word. I pray that we can learn the art of receiving words well. Please also continue to help us to speak wisely, always remembering just how much words truly matter. In Your name, amen.