Words can kill or give Life

#Depression #Emotionaltraumas #LordStirUpHealers

Kind words are like honey— Sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Prov 16:24

Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way: “The tongue has the power of life and death.” The stakes are high. Your words can either speak life, or your words can speak death. Our tongues can build others up, or they can tear them down. An unchecked fire doubles in size every minute.

Anyone who has spent time with a suffering friend knows how hard it is to remain present without trying to give answers. It is excruciating to suffer silently with a friend who must rebuild life piece by piece, without any certainty about the outcome. Our instinct is to investigate what went wrong and identify a solution. Then we imagine we can help our friend eliminate the cause and get back to normal as soon as possible. We think Knowing the cause, we will at least know how to avoid the same fate ourselves. We would rather give a reason for the suffering — be it right, be it wrong — than to accept the mystery at the heart of suffering.

Job’s friends succumbed to this temptation, and so do we. How much harm have well-intentioned Christians caused by giving pious- sounding answers to suffering, even though we have no idea what we’re talking about? We say things like “It’s all for the best.” “It’s part of God’s plan.” “God never sends people more adversity than they can handle.”. Just STOP! How arrogant to imagine we know God’s plan? How conceited to think we know the reason for anyone else’s suffering. We don’t even know the reason for our own suffering. It would be more truthful — and far more helpful — to admit, “I don’t know why this happened to you. No one should have to go through this.” If we can do this, and then remain present, we may become an agent of God’s compassion.

Job’s friends couldn’t lament with Job or even acknowledge that they lacked a basis for judging him. They are hell-bent (literally, given Satan’s role) on defending God by placing the blame on Job. As the friends’ speeches continue, their rhetoric becomes increasingly hostile. Faced with the self-imposed choice of blaming Job or blaming God, they harden their hearts against their former friend. “There is no end to your iniquities,” says Eliphaz (Job 22:5), and then he invents some iniquities to charge against Job. “You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry” (Job 22:8). “You have sent widows away empty-handed, and the arms of the orphans you have crushed” (Job 22:9).

The book of Job demands that we see ourselves in the faces of Job’s friends. We too — presumably — know right from wrong, and have some sense of God’s ways. But we do not know all of God’s ways as they apply in all times and places. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6). God’s ways are often a mystery beyond our understanding. Is it possible that we also are guilty of ignorant judgments against our friends? I want to bring this into the context of dealing with someone who is struggling with depression or emotional traumas. How many times have you said mean, harsh or judgmental words based on your “standards” or misguided conclusions?

Thinking you have it all figured out why that person’s behavior is off or how you think they have sinned, hence the suffering. You even go to the extent of pointing it out to their face directly or indirectly. Now, this person is already under the weight of extreme emotional and psychological pain, as Job was, so your words are like handing them a rope.

Allow me to share my own personal experience at this point; recently just as I was going through this extremely painful betrayal, I reached out to a pastor hoping to get help, or some kind of an intervention, you know what they asked me? “Explain to me how you’re born again yet you have a six-year-old daughter, you must have a weakness!” I felt like a dagger had been put right through my heart. So, you mean to tell me a single parent cannot get born again? Do you just become an outcast in the kingdom by virtue of being a single parent? Would it have been better if I had aborted? Is that the lesser evil? Is one “pure” just by virtue of the absence of a child? Can I take her back to the womb to escape stigma and harsh judgement?

Those were all the questions going through my mind. Needless to say, I left that place without getting the help I was seeking, and even worse, I left with more wounds than I already had. So, one thing I know is that not everyone can handle someone who is dealing with emotional traumas and depression. But each of us can pray. And as we pray, the Lord will anoint, appoint and stir up healers and comforters all over the world and dispatch angels to work with them.

Let healers be now sent out. Those anointed for such a time as this, to co-work with angels and be able to access these precious hearts. May the Holy Spirit who is our comforter, keep your hearts at rest and divine peace.


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