|My first grandchild, Brielle, at 3 days|
We all recognize the fragility of a newborn. So tiny. So helpless. So dependent. What's easy to miss, however, is that as our bodies grow there continues to be a fragility to each person's soul. And because of the delicacy of the soul, our words have the power to hurt. Thankfully, the Lord has also given us the ability to use our words to heal.
Proverbs 15:4 (NASB) reads:
A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.
Bible commentator John Kitchen has this to say, "What potential lies within our words! We are endowed by our Creator with the capacity to bring either genuine, substantive help to those around us or to inflict incalculable lasting harm upon them -- all of that by simply opening our mouths!" Proverbs, pg. 327
When I think about crushing the spirit, the picture that comes to mind is one of those monster trucks rolling over and flattening an entire line of cars in it's way as though the autombiles were nothing. I don't want my words to do that to anyone. Ironically, those easiest for me to hurt with my words are my own children. Whether its my tone or the very words themselves, I must remember the power my words have for good or grief and speak to my kiddos in a soothing way that protects their fragile souls. I'm commanded by God to build them up and encourage them, instead of tearing them down or belittling them. No crushing allowed!