“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).
The other day I saw this reminder: W.A.I.T. It wasn’t telling me to be patient, though. It was a reminder to ask: Why. Am. I. Talking?
As a chatty extrovert, I could use that acronym to save me from the painful question I all-too-often ask: Why. Did. I. Say. That? (No handy acronym for that, just embarrassment and regret.) I’ve left places knowing that I said too much, said the wrong thing, or hurt someone’s feelings because of my quick tongue.
In the Old Testament, Job’s friends did a great thing—they sat and grieved with him in silence for seven days. The trouble came when they did not WAIT. Instead, they opened their mouths—and they’ve had bad reputations ever since. I’m sure you have your own stories and failures too.
The good—no, great—news is that through faith we get credit for Jesus’ perfect use of words all the time. We aren’t punished or condemned for the times we’ve used our reckless words to pierce others. Instead, we are thankful for forgiveness and now get to use our words to bring healing.
We get to build others up when the world is beating them down. We get to encourage them to keep going when they want to stop. We get to tell them of the Savior who loves them so much that he spoke the three most healing words of all time: It. Is. Finished.
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. Her voice is heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace. She is married to Greg, and they live in Wisconsin with their three active children.
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