You wouldn’t think that a small person like me could have an angry heart. I remember a time when I was a child that I got so mad, I slammed my door. I can’t remember what upset me, but I was mad—I yelled and stormed up the stairs. Perhaps I said, “I hate you,” to my parents. I was told that if I slammed my door again, my bedroom door would be removed.
You guessed it … I stored anger in my heart and did it again. For a few days, I felt the guilt as I got ready in the bathroom (since I had no door).
This silly story from my childhood tantrums reveals a bigger picture—that words can be used as weapons. Out of my anger, I didn’t just react by slamming doors and saying hurtful words to my parents, my actions reflected what was stored in my heart. In this week’s message Joel Thomas talked about “what you let outside your mouth reveals what’s inside of your heart” and “what comes out of you is an indicator of what’s stored inside of you.”
We hold things in our hearts: anger, envy, insecurity, guilt, and shame. When we store harmful and toxic things inside our hearts, the bottom line is that we have the potential to weaponize our words.
We weaponize our words when we’ve been hurt. As the saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” In feeling hurt as a child, I stored anger and as a result had the potential to hurt my parents because I was angry at them. There are other reasons that we weaponize words.
- We weaponize our words when we’re discontent and store up envy in our hearts.
- We weaponize our words when we don’t feel safe and store up insecurity in our hearts.
- We weaponize our words when we’re hiding something and store up guilt and shame in our hearts.
17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For
from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
In a world of endless hand washing, we also need to be mindful of what is contaminating our hearts. We need to not only be mindful of what can defile us physically but also spiritually.
As a blue, a perfectionist, I need a safe space to share what it is I’m holding on to. It is easier at times to store things in my heart rather than bringing them to the light, but then I am only living in darkness. When I do that, I don’t allow God to work in those areas where I need his healing hand. And in doing so, I let what is stored in my heart potentially weaponize my words instead of using words for good.
Think about your temperament and what you have recently learned about it. What might someone with your temperament tend to store up in their heart? What are you storing in your heart?
What do you need to do spiritually so God can bring healing to your heart and/or relationships?
Have a conversation with your family about your temperament and what it is that you store in your heart.
Be more aware that your words reflect your heart. What can you do to restore your heart from those harmful things?
Keep reading the LivingItOut this week.
God, you gave us the gift of words. I pray that you would reveal to me what I am storing in my heart. Whether that is anger, envy, insecurity, guilt and shame. Speak to me about what I need to do so you can bring healing to my heart and to my relationships. Words can be used as weapons, and I pray that I am not using words to hurt people but to bring healing. Amen.
This post was written by Rebecca Roberts, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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