©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stopping Words That Hurt

My daughter worked for seven years in a rather toxic environment where her supervisor tried time after time to cause her to fail, told her that she NEEDED to fail, and became extremely angry when she didn't fail. He took every opportunity to bring her down, to sabotage her work, and often talked about her behind her back. When I saw Michael Sedler's book, Stopping Words That Hurt, I knew I had to read it, because I wanted to help her cope with the fallout of the verbal and emotional abuse she suffered.

I was so wrong in so many ways in assuming what the book was about, but I learned so much in reading this book. I learned how I need to stop the words I speak that hurt. Dr Sedler has defined the effect our own words have on those around us--words that gossip, tear down, bear false reports, and in so many ways defile our world. When my husband was about mid-way through his career, he came home with the news that he'd flubbed something up at work. His comment about it was that one, "Oh Sh*&^*!" can cancel out ten "Atta Boys." Michael makes the same point in his book, but he also makes other points that are so basic but at the same time so overlooked in our society.

One of his examples was teachers in the teachers' lounge at school talking about the children with behavior problems, the affairs of other teachers, the parents who are pains in the neck; in other words, gossip. What makes this so despicable is that the people being talked about aren't there to defend themselves, and while you may not contribute to the conversation, you become polluted by the others' talk. When we don't speak up in these conversations, we allow ourselves to become complicit in them. Our words have such power to build up or tear down and we have the power to stop the words that hurt. One thing we have to realize is that we don't have to do this under our own power, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to curb our tongues. We also have the power to make reconciliation where our words have already caused pain.

This book is necessary for every Christian to read. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and words to build one another up.

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