As I look back on my life, I can see how I have often struggled with careless speech and also how God has patiently worked to teach me and grow me in this area.
One of the main ways He has done this is by allowing me to experience the painful sting of such words. I can truly echo the Psalmist’s sentiments in Psalm 119.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119:71
For me, this period of affliction stretched over the three years that my husband and I tried to make a family. Like a lot of couples, we assumed that we would not have to wait long to get pregnant, but that was not the road God had for us.
A sword thrust into my heart, but I kept smiling. “Oh!” I replied, trying not to grimace, “Well, we would love to! We’re just trusting the Lord!” Unaware of the storm brewing in my heart, the person countered, “Well, you better not wait too long! If you do, you might miss out!” Another sword thrust. I laughed, but I wanted to cry.
I know this person well, and I am sure that their intention was completely benign. They certainly never meant to cause me pain or make me uncomfortable. They didn’t know how long we had been trying, how desperately we were praying, and that their words had wounded my already fragile heart. In fact, I believe they were more than likely simply making conversation through playful banter. But that encounter, and many others like it, helped me to see that my own off-handed comments, impulsive chitchat, and casual exchanges can very easily lend themselves toward careless, insensitive words that are like swords thrust into the hearts of those who hear them.
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How has God patiently worked to teach and grow you in the area of careless speech?
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