Have you ever wondered why people share things that were asked to never be shared? Have you ever thought that the things you do not know are probably for your spirit’s best? Now, let me get one thing straight before I continue. I have been guilty of sharing something with someone when asked to not share it at all. So, this is not written in judgment but more in bringing awareness to how words can truly harm…and heal if used appropriately. I am the type of person who wants to trust every single person I come in contact with. I will trust until I have a reason not to.
I am sometimes unfair in my expectations of people. I expect them to be honest with me. I expect them to not tell untruths about me. I expect them to have a mature conversation with me when they feel I have wronged them. (That’s a mouthful in and of itself) In the past, I have expected that more from those in churches. There have been times where I believed that Christians were not harmful. Yeah, I know. Not unlike other people in general, Christians royally screw up. I think I just heard the frightful “GASP!” from the self-righteous as I type. I found out the hard way multiple times. Due to words of those “in charge” in churches I have gone to in my life, I found myself disenchanted with God and Christianity. I allowed hurtful words to become a driving force in my opposition of God and the Christian faith.
Now, I am not saying that all Christians are hurtful. In fact, when I was brought back to God by such a loving, caring Christian woman, I was sort of in shock when it happened. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t suspicious of her caring nature. I was. I had been conditioned to not trust Christians. Unfair to lump all Christians in a big batch of the few that have hurt me before? Yes. I am not doing that, but after being hurt by someone involved in the last church where I was a member, I was very aware of what I did not want to happen again. Men were on the top of my “Poop list” for a very long time. All men. Again, that was unfair considering not ALL men did me harm. Not all Christians have done me harm. However, I am most devastated when a “good Christian” ends up being completely human and does or says something harmful to me. I am learning, however, to understand more and more about what I believe is true and what is reality. Sometimes those variables are congruent. Sometimes, yikes!
Whenever we are told to not say anything to anyone, it is not that someone is trying to be mean or whatever other negative connotation comes along with that. There are reasons that folks say, “Do not say a word about this to anyone.” It really is just for our own good sometimes (Most times). For the good of others, as well. If someone tells you that they should not tell you something, believe it. There is good reason! What we must learn as individuals is that we do NOT have to be privy to everything said about us. Most of the time, it’s just better that we do not know. Ignorance can be bliss. And, if someone tells us something in confidence, let us know better than to repeat it even if someone is beating us about the head to want to know. Words can be dangerous and damaging. They can break a heart. They can scar a soul. They can weaken a spirit. We have to be wise about the words we use. More specifically, we have to be wise about the words we use about others.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
I wonder what this world would look like, sound like, if we all would abide by, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” How silenced would your tongue be if you lived your life by this notion? Sometimes, it’s just better to not say a word about another person. Sometimes, it’s just better to leave your curiosity about what others are saying about you alone. All the time, it’s better to forgive and lay down your burdens at the feet of Jesus Christ. All the time, it’s better to love one another regardless of someone else’s brokenness. Regardless of your own brokenness.
Build each other up with your words.