I want to laugh and love and impulsively grab the moment.
But I also want to live as if my words and choices matter.
Because they do.
Just yesterday I sat in my car trying to absorb the news of an old friend. Choices and actions are hurting a marriage and little ones.
I’m sure there are excuses to be offered.
Or feelings that just can’t be denied.
But our actions are bigger than us. Like skipping a rock across a clear stream, they ripple from one person to the next, leaving harm in the wake. Doing “good” instead of harm isn’t about putting on a good show or a half-hearted effort because you feel shame or regret.
It’s looking right at the offense and owning it.
It’s exchanging “good” for the pain of digging deep to find the source, even if it’s the last thing you want to expose to the Light.
It’s being truthful about the fact that our actions affect those we love.
Our words are packed with punch and power — to do good, or to do harm. Harm takes place when we don’t take responsibility when what we do adversely affects our love ones emotionally, or even spiritually.
To live free means that we choose good rather than harm. We weigh our words. We say I’m sorry when we screw up. We use words to encourage, lift up, delight, pray, humor, love, and speak truth with grace.
But we get really honest if there’s something inside of us that needs healing and we intentionally pursue it.
It means that we are willing to do the work — and allow God to do the work in us — when our actions or words cause others to to trip, to question their worth, to be hurt without resolution, to feel alone or isolated while they wait for us to cool down or come to our senses.
Suzie, this is harsh.
No, harsh is lying to ourselves and nothing ever being resolved. Harsh is pointing fingers at everyone else and never healing. Harsh is the exact opposite of a God who loves you and wants the best for you.
If this is where you are at, share that with me. I’ll pray with you. My prayer team will join me.
And we’ll applaud that you are living free as you choose good over harm.
Starting the second week of school, so this was just what I needed to read!
Great words of wisdom. I like to think of the ripple affect.
Funnily enough, I was just in a training session at work that referred to the same closing quote you did. Words have power. There is no doubt about it!
This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I have let the chaos of life take over. Busy with work, school, life in general. I have become impatient with my children and let things make me crazy that should not. Thank you for the smack on the head. Today is the start of a change for the better.
Husband finally admitted to two affairs with his coworker after 18 years of lying about the first affair even happening ( I felt it in my gut but could never get proof) and 18 months if lying about the second and most recent affair being “emotional” , for which I got solid evidence of both emotional and physical. Both affairs were with the same coworker. Horrible words were spoken on both sides. I had to separate from him for 10 months because he became physically abusive due to my questioning but he got help and is in control of that. I moved back home 4 months ago, but am having trouble getting through the betrayals and still ask questions or make accusations that probably hurt him. I hurt so much inside… It was the deception and the horrible things he called me and the horrible things his affair partner told me that he said about me that still haunt me. I feel myself isolating and withdrawing so I don’t say much. The pain of these betrayals is horrific, yet this is a 36 year marriage. I am not sure I can get past it all but he asked for 6 months to prove to me that he wants me and this marriage. Please pray for God to lead me on the right path and to have the ability to choose my words carefully so I don’t make things worse through this pain, and for God to fill this empty place in my heart with some reason for getting up each morning, and for His will to be done concerning this marriage. All prayers are truly appreciated!!
Hi Karen, I’m so sorry that you were hurt so badly. I am reaching with an embrace from one woman to another. It appears that you both want this to heal and to work. My prayer is that you’ll invite godly and professional counsel into this. God is your foundation. His healing work is your foundation. But a professional and Christian counselor can give you tools to trust again. To work through forgiveness ( I pray you and your husband will both work through The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness). That will also allow you to peel away the pain to find the underlying issues that have to be addressed as you go forward.
I hear your heart and I’m praying that God wraps you close today. That You sense that He’s with You and over your home throughout this process.
You are brave. You are precious in God’s sight. You are loved.
God will comfort you through The Holy Spirit,He will give you grace to forgive,forget,love again,healing your wound and erasing your scars.
Words do indeed have power. My tongue has gotten me into more trouble than I can list. I tend to not LISTEN, but to Speak to quickly. I have come to realize this and God keeps reminding me. I believe with His help I can change from complaining and whining to encouraging and rejoicing. Please pray that God will put His arm around my shoulder to encourage me and His hand over my mouth, to stop me from speaking when I should be quiet.
Also I need to loose some weight and riding in the semi I find myself eating the wrong things for comfort food. Please pray I can get this habit under control as well. thanks. Please keep up the good work!
This is a great reminder today. Sometimes those ugly words are backlash from deep pain. Sometimes it’s easier to pass the pain along to the next person than it is to grieve the hurt and loss and get rid of it once and for all.
Suzie, as always, your posts are just what I need to hear. Great timing. The Holy Spirit speaks through this post and says to me, “Your actions and words in your marriage are very important. Don’t shrug off your negativity. Take responsibility for it. Say you’re sorry. Encourage your husband.”
My favorite part you said is, “To live free means that we choose good rather than harm. We weigh our words. We say I’m sorry when we screw up. We use words to encourage, lift up, delight, pray, humor, love, and speak truth with grace.”
I’m going to take another pass at a discussion with my husband. And do it with love this time. Thanks for speaking encouragement when I need it! You’re a gifted intercessor and writer. Thank you.