Instead of asking questions, we tell people what they are thinking and feeling. We tell them things like:
- “You don’t really care.”
- “You shouldn’t feel that way”
- “You are in a bad mood”
- “You don’t love me”
If you are like me you have uttered many words you wish you could take back to your children, your parents, spouse or friends. I have said many foolish and hurtful things to other people, even as a Christian! This is not to my credit or God’s glory but to my shame. James was truly inspired as he wrote about the tongue and its poison for there is no more accurate a word picture than the one he drew for us.
Our words can be such a gift to others and yet we tend to use them to beat each other emotionally to a bloody pulp. I have observed parents berating their children with words like “stupid”, “idiot”, and words that are not fit to print. As they berate them verbally the change in posture and countenance is easily discernible. The shoulders slump, eyes cast downward to the floor, lips begin to quiver…the child is ripped apart inside.
The world says that this effects a child’s self-esteem. There is something more important at stake than the child’s opinion of him or herself! When we speak to anyone (child or adult) in such a disparaging manner we are degrading and denigrating the creation of the living God! We are cursing out someone made in the image and likeness of God and this is far more serious than how that child feels about himself.
Because too few people are taught that they are God-reflectors all they have to cling to is the psychological clap-trap but you will find no such term as “self-esteem” in the Bible.
Next time- the devastating effects of the Fall on communication
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