Her words, though seemingly innocent, cut me to the core. A compliment laced with criticism as the main objective. I chose to respond to the flattery, purposely pushing the criticism out of mind until I could politely excuse myself from the conversation. But its effects lingered. In my mind. In my heart. I couldn’t help but wonder if her words were intentional, or if she honestly didn’t realize the punch they packed to my sensitive heart.
Oh sweet sisters, why aren’t we more careful with our words?
It’s so easy to find fault in one another, voicing our disapproval in small, subtle ways. We are masters at inflicting one little jab here, another tiny dig there, leaving one another to question … “Am I a bad mother? Was my idea foolish? Should I do more for my children? Less for my husband? Am I wrong for not adding this “important” activity to my already busy schedule?”
And in the aftermath, some precious lady begins the arduous task of separating those hurtful words from what she knows to be true. Working tirelessly to shake off the undeserved guilt. Struggling to find her confidence again despite the uncertainties rising within her. All because another woman carelessly cast inconsiderate words her way.
I’ve been there. No doubt you have as well.
And even worse, I’ve been guilty of dishing out sharp comments myself at times. I’m guessing you could say the same.
Sadly, we do this without truly considering the impact our words have on one another. In the busyness of our own small space, we forget how much we need one another. We fail to show love. To extend grace. To grant acceptance. To offer an occasional pat on the back.
Dear friends, how I pray we will become more thoughtful with the words we speak to one another. More aware of the message our words convey. Praying for each other more, judging less. Cherishing rather than belittling -despite our many differences.
May it become our mission to affirm our sisters, seeing to it that tenderness and hope tarry in their hearts long after our conversations cease.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29