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The Words We Use
by Lauryn Abbott
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I knew from the time I was a teenager that life and death are in the power of the tongue. What I didn’t know, was that this was in the Bible. It was something I learned when my words became a defense mechanism. When I was young, I had a well-developed vocabulary for my age. I’ve always been witty and I grew in the fine art of sarcasm.

While I felt inferior to most of my peers in almost every way, I felt superior to them in my words. I saw how I could affect someone with what I said. Sometimes I used that gift for good, to encourage or to make people laugh. Often times I used my gift for evil, to insult and ridicule. I never struck first, after all I didn’t want to hurt people, however when I did strike back it was to utterly decimate. That way they’d think twice about trying again.

I never really cared about the destruction that I caused. In fact, I bragged about it. The times that I actually made someone cry with my words were cause for celebration. Of course, the only thing this really accomplished was to expose the pain and blackness in my heart; after all, it is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

There were few exceptions to this. A very select, few people that I cared about and trusted were usually spared my bite. Usually, I didn’t even have to think about it, I simply spared them. One day however, a friend approached me in a very good mood, and said, “The sky is blue and the birds are singing”. She was young, and in love, and was having a really good day. I wasn’t though. Without missing a beat, my response was, “The sky is gray and the birds are dead”. I thought it was funny, but she was crushed. After nearly 20 years, I can still see the look on her face.

After that time, I really did try to think before I spoke. I started taking less pleasure in hurting with my words. It did still happen sometimes, but not as often. I found myself using my gift for good more often than I did for evil. I loved to make people laugh, and I found that I was good at encouraging others. I also found that I could keep my mouth shut.

Years later, I came back to the Lord (I knew Him as a child). He’s been so gracious to me and has helped me to really let go of the need to use my words as a defense mechanism. I couldn’t tell you when I last used my words to hurt someone deliberately. I know that sometimes I can still cause pain when I speak, but I usually recognize it quickly and try to make amends immediately. Now if I hurt someone with my words it affects me deeply.

I have learned the importance of choosing the words that I speak. I try to be mindful of whether I am speaking life or death. It is now with equal measure, that I am as happy to be using my words to give life, as I am deeply ashamed of the way they used to bring death. I am grateful that God has given me the opportunity to use my gift for good. I am humbled and amazed that He would use my words to touch the lives of others and point them to Him. For any good that I do now with the words that I speak, to Him belongs the glory. For any harm that I do now with the words that I speak, it is to my heart belongs the pain.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” ~ Psalm 19:14

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Connie Allen 17 Apr 2008
Thank you so much for sharing this. We all need to be more aware of our words and their power. GOD BLESS YOU
LauraLee Shaw 16 Apr 2008
It is very refreshing to hear a testimony that is so honest, yet shows the Lord's transforming power at work. Thank you for sharing.


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