Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Hidden Killer

"The tongue can bring death or life..." Proverbs 18:21

After discovering her body and trying to grasp the 'why's', a suicide note was found. Two words. "They said..."

The power of life and death truly is in the tongue.

Words alone are weightless, yet they can crush or empower. Build up or tear down. Encourage or devour.

Our words can be weapons of mass destruction, but are we even aware of the devastating and debilitating effect they can have on an often already wounded soul? On their own they are neutral. It's the coupling with our heart that fuels them for good or evil. Recently this truth embedded itself on my heart as I heard the following illustration.

Imagine with me for a moment a precious woman rises one morning and dresses in clothing made entirely from sticky notes. Before she even leaves her bedroom she is criticized and the first yellow square falls to the floor. As the day continues words that shame, ridicule, question her worth, make her feel inadequate, insignificant, guilty, unloved, and homely are inscribed over her life and more of her outfit crumbles away, mirroring the broken fragments of her heart as it slowly disintegrates. Some who see the clothing malfunction, try to re-attach the squares with positive feedback and encouraging words but the notes won't stick. The damage has been done. By the close of the day, she finds herself sitting at home, feeling insecure and completely exposed.

It is a terrible thing to be part of any relationship that highlights the negative and the mistakes. When criticism and correction continue, a life is characterized by unending, recurrent pain and insecurity. When faults and failures are all that are noticed, eventually one simply stops trying. What's the use? The effort takes too much energy. The results always the same.

She feels the effect so greatly, it's as if permanent marker has ruined her wardrobe. She looks in the mirror before going to bed at night, despondent, receiving and believing the lies. Crawling into bed she curls up inside the pain. The tongue does kill. She's buried alive in a pile of words.

In the silence a Hand reaches down. He sees. He knows. His love is unconditional. She is treasured and loved. Brushing off the syllables that left her slain, He dresses her in robes of righteousness. Broken, she falls into arms of love.

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Nichole said...

Thank you Joy for this very important reminder that words do something!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

So good to see you posting after a long absence. Have missed reading your blog. Yes....words are important. I guess that's why our parents always told us to put our brain into gear before we put our mouth into motion! :)


Patrina's Pencil said...

Sweet Joy, I read your comment over at Ealaine's journey and felt an identification with you on your journey. I am 24/7 caregiver for my 84 year old invalid father. your comment there was so heart warming for me in my journey - that I had to come find you - meet you and offer encouragement.

then I found this post - oh how I needed this post - it spoke good clear words into my situation of defeat here at my place. I find myself taking on dad's negative personality just because I've been under it so long. I can't get away. I feel buried under his pile of words. But then I find myself responding to him in those same negative words. It's tormenting to know that I too have succumbed to such negative energy at times.

The Lord is my constant! I never lose sight of who He is and has been - I love how you ended it. You are a very good writer. this was awesome. Perfect. God gives me dreams and often hugs me in my dreams - or gives me insight that my tired eyes and ears are not capable of seeing or hearing in my day time awareness.

I just wanted you to know that as I walk my journey - I will be praying for you in yours. May we both be uplifted to know that someone else cares.

blessings to you and may the JOY of HIs salvation be your strength.

patrina <")>><
warrior bride in boots

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Vulnerable, telling, rich, and raw.

The way I love your words. Keep penning them and keep complete exposure before our Father. He knows best how to apply truth in place of the lies.

Love you friend.


Cheri Bunch said...

Joy, this is so powerful! I have recently felt just like the woman you describe. Thank you for reminding me of His faithful embrace. That is what it is all about! I would love to quote you sometime. Opportunity for that may fail to come but I know that I will need to read this again. Sweet, Joy, your gift is rich! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Love you,

Gaylene said...

A powerful blog and a reminder that our words can either build up or tear down.

~Tam I Am~ said...

Joy, reading through this blog post the Lord rehearsed Ps 139:17-18 continually through my mind. The tongue holds a two-way great influence in our lives, no doubt. I am reminded to measure my own worth in the light of God's eyes and at the feet of His only begotten Son. There, the words on those sticky notes are penned only in love and stuck always for eternity. Because of who He is: our I Am. Thank you for your words.

~Tam I Am~ said...

Be my guest...

Alene said...

This blog is great! Just the wake up call I needed about my feisty old tongue. Our words are so powerful. My I remember to use them to praise God and others. Blessings friend!