Destroying harmful words
Have you ever been to a family reunion or other gathering where you can’t even get through the meal without replaying a negative or painful comment that someone said to you, even as long as five or ten years ago? Words have a way of sticking with us, but we must learn to deal with hurtful statements that torment our minds and emotions. You have heard it before: hurting people hurt people. Their words express how their inner man feels—wounded and possibly mean-spirited. The word tells us, "My dear brothers, everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." (James 1:19)
We know that quick anger can bring angry words. We wish we could get angry, critical words out of our hearts and off of our minds, but perhaps our greatest regret comes from things we let come out of our own mouths.
Most of us remember rejection, name-calling or critical comments meant to be defining words for us. You may think that healing comes by changing the actions of the one who hurt you, but it’s going to take some words. In some cases, you may never get words of apology, so it takes new, potent words to cancel out the power of harmful ones. Have you had potent, negative things said over you? Words like, "You will never amount to anything." In order to trump it, we need something omnipotent to replace it. Only God’s omnipotent words can cancel out potent, destructive words.
In Isaiah 54:17, the Lord says, "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me."
There is a very real enemy of our souls and his name is Satan. He accuses the sisters and brothers in Christ with words. You and I have been given the power to cancel the accusing word with God’s Word. What was true of them in literal terms under the old covenant is true of us in spiritual terms under the new covenant. No weapon forged against us will prevail and you have the power and the words of God to refute every tongue the accuser wags at you.
It is also important for us to look at the life of Job. When he needed consolation, he was deeply hurt by his friends’ words. We are told that when his friends first came to him in his grief, they sat down with him and were silent for seven days. I believe they should have stayed that way, but they brought trouble the moment they opened their mouths. In Job 42:7-12, God gives Job an omnipotent prescription for healing his friend’s potent words. He told him to open his mouth and pray for the friends that had hurt him.
I know this is hard to hear, but praying for the person who hurt you (particularly by their words) is the very thing that God will use to heal you and set you free. Get into a private place where you can open your mouth and pray out loud. You will begin to realize that you are not replaying so much of what they said to you, but hearing now what God has caused you to speak over them. That is power!
If we are invaded and empowered by his Holy Spirit, we can be used of Christ to speak words that are spirit and life. God planned for us to use our mouth in ways that have effectual power beyond anything we have ever experienced. He wants us to speak words that encourage, edify others and glorify God. In order to operate in that pure flow of spirit and life, we need to be set free from words of flesh and death that have been spoken over us. We must let God heal us of words that come from wounded people.