Hurtful Words

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Job 19:2 “How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?”

Job found himself in a position that many find themselves in every day. Job’s so-called friends who had come to “comfort” him had turned into enemies whose mouths were full of the venom of hurtful words. These men who came to help Job did not come to hurt him, but they became Satan’s tool to break him, and Satan used their words as this tool.

Hurtful words are often the venom Satan uses to break good people by believers who should speak helping words. Words can and do break people. Words go deep into the heart of people, and good people often don't realize how hurtful their words are that they speak. If you are not careful, you will break the very people who would help you in life with your hurtful and breaking words. I find there are five types of hurtful words that often break the people we love.

Hateful words are the first type of hurtful words. Calling people names and cursing at them will never help a relationship or resolve a difference with others. Saying hateful things or words about people with a hope to “win” in your disagreement with someone only makes you the biggest loser. Hateful words do hurt, and you may say them to hurt someone, but you are hurting yourself the most.

Lying words are the second type of hurtful words. You can lie so that you don't offend someone, but your lie will often hurt them when they find out the truth. I have learned in life that people will forgive you more quickly if you just tell them the truth upfront. Yes, they may be angry or disappointed at first, but telling the truth will at least cause others to trust your word, whereas lying will cause them to be angry with you and likely cause them never to trust you.

Disparaging words are the third type of hurtful words. When someone is trying to help you, be careful about using disparaging words. Saying things about someone to belittle them so you can justify your sin will not cause others to want to help you. You will find that you can only disparage others for so long before everyone will not want anything to do with you.

Gossiping words are the fourth type of hurtful words. Gossip has hurt more people than most other words. Spreading truths about someone’s sin or untruths about someone’s character is devilish at best. It is not your business to tell others about others. Talking about people is for little people; talking about ideas and truths are for big people. Getting caught up in gossip only puts the manure and stench of gossip all over your character. You don't want to become known as a gossip.

Accusatory words are the fifth type of hurtful words. Accusing people of something that you assume to be true is not only being used as a tool by Satan, but it is also demeaning to your Christian character. Satan should be the only accuser of the brethren, but sadly many have joined his team to accuse others of something we have only acquired the information by hearsay. Even if you know it to be true, you are not to spread the accusations about others.

Are you guilty of saying hurtful words? As my mother used to say to me, “If you don't have anything good to say about others, don't say anything at all.” This is a great rule to abide by with the words you speak to and about others.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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