Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose. ( proverbs 18:21 ) For something that we do so often it is quit amazing how good we can be at times and how bad we can be at times. We naturally lean to the negative side of using words and that is why it is so important to be working at the skill of words. Yes, to a certain extent it is skill but it goes much deeper then just a skill and hopefully I can shed a little light on such a complicated subject.
Author Paul David Tripp says in War of Words,” Adam and Eve ‘s ability to communicate in words made them unique in all of creation. They could take their thoughts, desires, and emotions and share them with each other. They were like God; they could talk! By giving them this ability, God was setting the shape of their lives.”
God has given us such a great gift and yet most of the time are words are more hurtful or self-fulfilling then they are helpful. Why is that? Have you ever made some of these statements and wondered why?
You make me so angry!
If you hadn’t ______ then I wouldn’t have _______
When ever you do that I just can’t control myself ( blame )
I wasnt like this before I had children ( regret )
If it’s the last thing I do I’ll get you to respect me ( threat )
After everything we have done for you …. ( guilt )
Remember that thing you wanted if you do …. I’ll think about it ( manipulation )
Our communication struggles are not primarily a struggle of technique but a struggle of the heart. Our war of words is not with other people ; it is a battle within. Have you ever been around someone who reads books and listen to personnel growth cd’s but there still seems to be something harsh about them. It is because they have learned techniques and can say the right things but the music that their words make sound like an instrument that is out of tune. If we are going to understand our trouble with words, we must begin with our heart. Our tongues are a restless evil because the ” heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” ( Jer. 17:9 ) Word problems reveal heart problems. The people and situations around us do not make us say what we say; they are only the occasion for our hearts to reveal themselves in words.
If we want to get better with people we need to address the issues of our heart first. That starts with the desires of our heart. The desire for success at work becomes a demand of appreciation from the boss. The desire to have enough money to pay the bills morphs into a lust for affluence. The desire to be a good parent becomes a desire to have children who enhance my reputation. We become motivated for the things that bring us pleasure and are angry at any one that stands in our way.
So techniques are important to learn but if you want your instrument to make beautiful sound then you must address the issues in your heart. This is not an easy task because we are sometimes blind to the events that have caused us scares or we are blind to the issue that the scare has left behind. Good luck on the journey through your heart.