It is incredibly easy to destroy someone’s day. You just have to know exactly what to say. Vulgarity is not necessary, but there is a certain foulness that accompanies the pain that ensues.
I recently read that 1 in 25 people have no conscience and do not feel remorse for any of their words or actions. I do not know how true this is, but I have certainly encountered people throughout my lifetime who would seem to fall into this category. These people are typically the ones who are brazen enough to spew putrid words straight from the devil’s pits with the sole intention of ripping you to shreds.
However, the other 24 people in this group, though fully capable and inevitably probable, will say hurtful things with no ill intent. It will come as a slip of the tongue, as an accident, something that happens out of laziness, lack of thought, or anger.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (NLT)
If the tongue can bring about life or death, I would liken it to a weapon.
In the U.S we have four different degrees of murder. First degree murder is planned out and premeditated. Second degree murder is not premeditated such as a random street fight that turns sour. Then we have voluntary manslaughter which happens in the heat of the moment and is not premeditated such as a person who snaps when discovering that their spouse has been cheating and kills their spouse and lover. Finally we have involuntary manslaughter which is the only degree that lacks the intent to kill, there is absolutely no desire to kill someone else, it is a complete accident. For example a drunk driver that hits and kills someone.
We can take our words and plan how to use them for evil. We can think about exactly what to say to inflict pain and suffering onto to someone else. We can premeditate on the situation and the outcome. We can destroy someone and feel a sense of pride in what we have said.
We can become offended by what someone says and retaliate with the intention to silence them indefinitely. We can also lose control and say injurious things that do not even make sense when we are angry.
We can also say things that would not hurt our feelings to hear, but come across as hurtful to people we care deeply about.
I was recently on the receiving end of 1st or 2nd degree “worder.” For me it was hard to tell if it was premeditated, but the sheer hate that breathed them into existence was certainly felt as an intention to destroy.
Recently, I was also on the giving end of involuntary “wordslaughter” where I said something to someone in my family with zero intent to hurt their feelings, but that is what the consequence was. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. The thought of hurting them hurt worse than the evil words that were doled my way.
As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. 2Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.
3 Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.
4 When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. 5 It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. 6 Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.
7 Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. (NLT)
This portion of scripture has been burning in my mind for over a month now, and it has become my prayer. In another translation it is said in verse three that ” a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”
When someone says hurtful things to you and have the intention of killing your spirit, it is usually because they are battling with their own darkness and feel the need to impede you to make them feel as if they have received some sort of personal gain. These words can make us mad, and rightfully so, but try to remember, what they are saying is most likely a lie. Which means it is untrue and you have the option of not believing what they have to say. You also have the option of responding in anger by saying hurtful things right back or you can defend your position by saying nothing or declaring the truth.
When someone hurts you and they did not mean to, talk to them about it. Do not let bitterness bury itself in your heart.
My prayer is this: if my words are not being used as instruments of life, then I do not want to speak at all. So Lord let my words be few.