Sword and salve

“There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18 (AMP)

Slowing down does not only involve our lifestyles, but our inner lives as well. Our minds race, our emotions rocket when provoked, and our bodies react instantly. Before we can stop ourselves, we lunge, slashing without thinking.

Our words can harm or heal. By them, millions of lives have been lost, millions saved. But for most of us, the consequences are more constrained. Nonetheless, we must be just as careful.

Too often, thoughtless words kill the spirits of those we hate, or those that we love. Countless dreams have been murdered in the name of “common sense”, joy in the name of “truth”, love in the name of “sensibility”. As with a sword, we must come to realize the responsibility with which we wield our words.

Words may also be a salve. They can heal wounds, dissolve scars. They can build up and strengthen. With a word, we can change someone’s world. One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Teresa, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” Kind words echo in eternity.

I realize the difficulty of saying kind things at times. I am not naturally prone to speaking to people, much less so in speaking compliments. But it was at the realization of what words can do that I began to add them into my life. In the end though, regardless of how hard it is for us, it is worth speaking. Jesus spoke and healed the world; we are his speakers now and we must speak. Healing is not confined solely to the hands, but also resides within the lips and tongue.

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