The most powerful weapon in the world is at our fingertips. It has the power to destroy or to build up. It’s also the most volatile weapon because it is so uncontainable. What is this weapon?
Words surround us. We play Words with Friends, we tell someone we love them, we encourage, and sometimes we wield words like weapons of destruction.
We can de-construct growth in someone’s heart with a careless word or misplaced assumption. The childhood sing-song of: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ is a lie and a weak defense for those who have suffered at the hands of mis-used words.
Our physical body has built-in capabilities of healing itself, but our hearts are not so lucky. Our hearts require a supernatural touch to be restored. The wounds we receive from words can follow us around for years and can become entrenched into our identity affecting how we perceive ourselves.
The words I hear sound something like this:
fat, selfish @#!%&
not worth it
holier than thou
not good enough
These words have fed the demons of inadequacy and insecurity to the point that I wasn’t able to walk into the freedom I knew I had in Christ, but the hurts of these words didn’t stay locked up in my heart, they spilled out into my relationships. I have questioned the value God places on me and wondered if I am just a ‘pity’ friend to my friends. Words spoken carelessly in a 3 second time span can have a 30 year affect. That’s the devastating power of words.
Words carry weight which crushes, deflates, and prevents us from hearing the truth of God’s love. It is then that I know that God will need to replace the negative echoes with the positive reflections of his word and what he says about me. The trick? I have to be willing to listen. I have to be willing to lay aside my hurt and be open to Truth.
It’s because of these heart-wounds that I strive to write heart-words that heal and speak love and life into my children’s lives and your life as well. The truth that God wants me to hear and share go something like this:
You are made in my image and I call it good.
You are worth my very life.
You are made holy because of me.
You are good enough because I say you are.
Who’s authority are we going to rest on? Are we going to listen to the people that hurt us or are we going to listen to the One who was hurt for us?
Will you accept the truth of his love and sacrifice? Will you accept the kindness that rolls off his tongue as he refers to you as beloved? Will you let him replace the splinters of painful words with healing sutures of words of love?
I’ve had two root canals in the same tooth. Yes, I know—ouch. (You know how most people have two roots per tooth and some people have three? Well, I have four and one got missed the first time around—oh help!). Here’s the deal—it wasn’t the drilling that was painful. It was the scooping out of the infection. Infection is immune to the numbing drug they give to the not-so-willing patients.
Heart wounds caused by words fester and grow inflamed and infected and we can hide them or pretend they don’t exist. We can numb ourselves to their presence. But when God wants to address them? We see we’ve fooled ourselves and as he cleans them out we feel the hurt all over again. It’s tempting to shy away and clench our teeth and say ‘stop!’, but this is the time to submit to the pain because the only way to healing is through the pain. And I promise there is glorious freedom on the other side.
May I encourage you to lay whatever word-wounds you carry in your heart before our loving God and lean into him as he replaces those words with Truth from his Word.? And then walk in the beautiful, remarkable freedom he has for you as a Beloved child of God.
Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future. Her greatest desire is to see people live this ‘God-life’ with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day. You can connect with her atwww.welcomegrace.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JessicaVanRoekel