I woke up this morning excited to share a post I had been working on this week, but two red notifications stopped me from hitting publish. The first was an alert that my blog had just reached a major # in page views, and for a very brief moment, I was excited to achieve a milestone I never considered possible. But that momentary joy was gone as I clicked on the second alert. It was a notification that somebody had linked to my site. When a person shares links to the House of Hendrix on their own blog, I get notified. In the past it has been a fun way to see my posts play out in other people’s lives. But this was not that.
This was an entire post attacking my character, my blog, and the comments of my readers. Because my writing often leaves me vulnerable, her words felt like a dagger into a tender bruise. I couldn’t breathe and sat in shock stunned over a stranger’s attack.
Why do we hear the negative comments louder than the rest?
As I came downstairs, I must have looked like somebody had sucker-punched me in the gut. My husband immediately came to me asking “What’s wrong?”. I explained that a woman on the internet was mean to me and wrote an entire article attacking me. As I rested my head on his shoulder, he spoke this truth over me:
Hurting people often hurt others.
As I lifted my head to look into his eyes, I broke. With a cracking voice and the tear gates open, I said, “But it still hurts.”
Folks, our words matter.
The words we speak to our spouse.
The words we speak to our children.
The words we speak about a faceless woman on the internet.
Every time we open our mouths, we have an opportunity. How we use it, is up to us. We can bring encouragement & kindness into someone’s life…or discouragement and pain. I remind my children that our words can be sharper than a double-edged sword and we must learn to control them.
If you are hurting and tempted to lash out at those around you, think through if you are causing pain to those you love the most.
Today I had to forgive because I didn’t want a seed of bitterness to take root in my soul. But I wanted to defend myself. I wanted to explain that she was wrong about my not caring for those less fortunate than myself. I wanted tell her that friendship IS a blessing, and that teaching children character values isn’t a waste of time. But I didn’t.
Instead I was reminded of the times my own words have exasperated my children, hurt the heart of my spouse, and discouraged a friend. Today, I cling to the scripture:
Our words matter.
(The referenced post has been deleted, and the author and I are at peace with one another. It is all good )
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