Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sticks and Stones

I have chosen you
and have not rejected you.
So do not fear,
for I am with you;
do not be dismayed,
for I am your God.
I will strengthen you
and help you;
I will uphold you with
my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9&10

We've all heard the saying, "Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
More truthfully, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words . . . can wound forever. Like many, I have been wounded deeply by hurtful words. And I am sure I have propelled my share of hurtful verbiage.
By nature, I am normally not a confrontational person. Just ask my mother ... I have the typical middle-child temperament and I am still considered to be a peacemaker. As a result, when I am attacked, I often remain silent. I once heard someone say, if you speak when you are angry you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Speaking from experience, that's pretty accurate and I have a good memory of past mistakes.

Well, for some reason the enemy spoke some piercing, hurtful words to me through different people today. I was speechless and shocked at the insensitivity of the persons, supposed Christians, spewing these wounding words my way. Where is kindness, decency, compassion, gentleness, empathy, politeness? I didn't say anything or try to defend myself at the time, but later I became angry as I thought about what what was said to me. And honestly, I was feeling rejected.

We often think anger is a selfish and negative behavior that we should eliminate from our lives. Ephesians 4:26 says "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath. As I read over this scripture tonight, I realized that the command is not to “avoid anger” (or suppress it or ignore it like I did) but to deal with it properly, in a timely manner.

'I should of..' and 'if only I had...' keeps playing over and over in my head tonight ... as if I lost a competition or, as if someone has 'one-up' on me. Whether or not I volleyed an attack, offered up quick-witted rebuttal at the time, and no matter how deeply hurt I feel though, I know I am not rejected by God. I am His servant. I am on His side. He picked me. He hasn't left me. He is with me. There's no need to fear for He is my God. He will give me strength. He will help me. He will hold me steady and keep a firm grip on me.

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but the WORD of GOD encourages me!


Lynn said...

I just had to let you know how your post today encouraged me. So many of my own thoughts yet not written. We share alot of the same "feelings" and perspectives as I read back through some of your thoughts. So, thanks. Just wanted to say it.

Michelle said...

Wow, you just described me! When I do stand up for myself, which is NOT often, I feel like God is probably not very proud of me. Most of the times, at the beginning, I am so shocked by the comment, that I am speechless. Then after the fact, I think, 'I should have said this', or 'Why didn't I say that?'. I think that is our heavenly Father helping us to not say things we will regret, and helping us to be the person He is so proud of. Even though we are hurt, we still do not want to hurt others. Sometimes, I think I might say something, but then, my mouth never opens. Again, protection. I rarely get angry, but when I do, and the lid does come off, look out! I am not mean, but you can HEAR me, and I'm like a volcano, then, I cry, and sob.

I feel sorry for people who are not compassionate, and who are angry every day, and not happy. They don't know the Jesus and Father that I know. There is peace in Him, and I feel blessed that He is in my life.

Don't feel bad. Please.

Bless you!