In a recent conversation with my brother, Sam, he talked about Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” Proverbs 15:4 expands on this truth: “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”
As I thought on these verses, the Spirit brought to mind how often Barbara, in her depression, speaks “words of death,” and “words of crushing” to herself: “There is no hope for me. I will never get well. I am useless. I can’t do anything right. I can’t remember anything. I’m ugly.”
These are all lies which crush her spirit. We’ve been working a long time with the concept of recognizing these lies, which rise out of her childhood and her negative feelings, and replacing them with truth. But she was not making much progress with it.
Now with these verses from Proverbs, new terms came to my mind: we can speak words of healing, or we can speak words of wounding and hurt. These terms seem to resonate with Barbara more powerfully, and she seems to be applying them.
This concept is true for all of us, as we can easily wound ourselves with negative, condemning statements. These may have some truth in them, but are usually broad, generalized pronouncements that are more lie than truth. “I can’t do anything right!” “I’m such a loser.” “I’m no good!” “No matter what I do, I can’t win.” “I’m such a fool.”
Or, we can speak words of healing, which are more specific, biblical and true. “I feel like a fool, but you don’t love me because I’m perfect, Lord, you love me because you are love itself! As you have forgiven, embraced and loved me, so I choose to forgive, accept and embrace myself. Guide me now in making wise decisions.”
“I feel hopeless, but you, Lord, are the God of hope who has a plan and you are carrying us forward whether I can sense it or not.”
“I feel ugly; but even if that were fully true, I am your child, chosen, accepted, adopted, embraced and dearly loved. And in your love I am made beautiful.”
Then along with speaking words of healing, we can take positive steps to correct what triggered such words of wounding. If I feel ugly, I can get dressed up. If I feel everything is a mess, I can straighten some things up. If I feel useless, I can choose a constructive project and work on it. If I feel abandoned, I can reach out to others who are lonely.
So I encourage you to speak words of healing, words of pure truth to yourself, to stop wounding yourself (which is joining Satan in his work as Accuser of the Brethren!), and to experience the healing touch of the God who offers us abundant love, life and light.