I am so amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with hurtful words from yesterday. They insist on bringing into today the failures of yesterday and in so doing they pollute a potentially wonderful day. “I can’t believe you said that. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. You can’t possibly know how much you hurt me. I don’t know how you can sit there with that schmuck on your face after you treated me that way. You don’t know if I can ever forgive you.”
Those are not the words of love but of bitterness, resentment, and revenge. The manner in which we speak is exceedingly important. The Bible admonishes that a soft answer turns away anger. When our loved ones are angry and upset and lash out words of heat, if we choose to be loving we will not reciprocate with additional heat but with a soft voice. Two wrongs have never made anything right!
Words spoken in heat of anger are never rational and can not easily be forgotten, no matter how hard we try to forget them. But, love doesn’t keep a score of wrongs. It doesn’t bring up past failures. None of us is perfect. In relationships, we don’t always do the best or right things but that doesn’t give us the right to use words that will mar one another.
We can not erase the past. We cannot retrieve hurtful words spoken but we can speak humble words of forgiveness and act differently in the future towards those that have hurt us. As adults, as partners, if we are to develop and maintain healthy relationships, we need to speak healthy words to each other.
Love is kind. If then we are to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words. That has to do with the way we speak. The statement “I love you” when said with kindness and tenderness can be a genuine expression of love. But what about the statement “I love you?”, the question mark changes the whole meaning of those three words. Doesn’t it?
Sometimes our words are saying one thing, but our tone of voice is saying another. We are sending double messages. Our partners will usually interpret our message based on our tone of voice, not the words we use.
The way we express our words is important. If they come across as harsh, demands, we have erased the possibility of it having effective meaning and cause more damage. If they come across as kind, and honest, we build strong intimacy.
The best thing we can do with harsh words is to let them be history. Yes, they’ve been spoken. Yes, it certainly hurt. And it may still hurt. We can’t erase the past, but we can accept it as history. We can choose to live today free from the failures of yesterday.
Forgiveness is not a feeling; it’s a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, and not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.
” I love you”
” I care about you”
” I forgive you, even though your word hurts”
” I will not the past to come between us”
” You’re not a failure”
” You’re not a mistake”
” You are amazing”
” You are beautiful”
And so on…..
These are all kind words we should start using on one another starting now!
Happy Easter everyone. May the joy of the season fill our hearts and home now and always.
Blessings and Love
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