How I got to this point is rather a mystery to me, and perhaps one day I will explore that further and try to understand. The point is, I truly believed that. This was not a false modesty or an excuse to avoid consequences of my actions. I honestly believed that what I said did not matter. Obviously, I was completely wrong, and I had to be shown and told that numerous times before I actually believed it.
|Rachel, age 18|
I think I remember that scene so vividly, because it was the beginning of a change in thinking for me. If I could hurt my mom by what I said, maybe my words were important after all. Maybe the exhortation to, "let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29) applied to me after all.
It seems the sins we struggle with in childhood are often the sins we struggle with in adulthood. Even after all these years, I sometimes still find myself thinking that it doesn't really matter what I say. I'm just Rachel. Nobody really takes me seriously. But oh, that could not be further from the truth. I have seen countless times the results of letting my guard down and speaking unwisely and uncaringly to friends. The words I say have the potential to do such damage. As the book of James so poetically states, "...the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.... It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."
May the God who made us out of dust, who grants us salvation, who sustains us, also grant us wisdom to watch our words. May He help us see that what we say matters. And may He help us speak lovingly, kindly, and humbly to those around us.