If You Can’t Say Something Nice…
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. We’ve heard the cute yet wise phrase, but why don’t we heed it?
Yesterday, in the blog, “Hurtful Words Are Like Wild Fire,” we talked about the negative outcomes of words:
· lying reveals hatred toward its victim.
…..Before you know it a wild fire of hurtful words is out of control. Tempers flared and embers ignited – similar to a brush fire. I find myself today, surrounded by walls of fire burning all around me. Just when I think it’s contained and the flames are subsiding…someone spews more hurtful words. Comparable to dousing kindling with fuel, the fire jumps the boundary lines, and as a result the fire continues…. Although I have no firefighter abilities….I do know this: I cannot stay close to the fire and not get burned.
If you find yourself in the middle of a wall of fire burning out of control with hurtful words, what should we do?
Let’s go back to Proverbs…..
This book has numerous verses about our words. They can be helpful, bring healing, encourage, are life giving, sweet to the soul, healthy for the body, deflect anger, and satisfy.
The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain (10:11) The words of the godly are like sterling silver (10:30) The words of the godly encourage many(10:21) The lips of the godly speak helpful words (10:32) Wise words bring many benefits (12:14) The words of the wise bring healing (12:18) The words of the wise keep them safe (14:3) A gentle answer deflects anger (15:1) Gentle words are a tree of life (15:4) The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking (15:28) Pleasant words are persuasive (16:21) Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (16:24) A truly wise person uses few words (17:27) Wise words satisfy like a good meal (18:20) Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies (20:15)
Kind words, pleasant words, gentle words, helpful words all have a source: God. “The words of the godly are….”
Yet when we feed the flesh, we spew whatever comes to mind. The hurt, anger, frustration, whatever junk has swirled around in our minds comes plummeting out of our mouths. And because our flesh desires justification, in other words: having to be right or having the last word – we explode with a barrage of hurtful and ugly words.
And the forest fire rages……
Are you ready to put out the fire? Here are two suggestions:
Don’t feed the fire. Don’t feed the fire. Can I say it again? Don’t feed the fire.
Fire needs three things to continue burning: heat, oxygen and fuel.
· Everyone involved is already heated,
· Every time you open your mouth you give out oxygen,
· Every word you utter adds fuel to the fire.
Proverbs 26:20 says, “Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.” To sum this verse up in two words: SHUT UP
Cling to God. Stick close, hug, cleave, adhere yourself to Him.
It is only when we are close to God we will:
· Not even smell like smoke….
Proverbs 17:27 states, “A truly wise person uses few words.”
So I am going to shut up now, bite my tongue, and cling to God……..