Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV
Ellie lived with her grandmother who regularly criticized her from the time she was small.
“Nana always seemed to have a list of reasons why things didn’t work out for me. In junior high, she told me I didn’t make the cheerleading team because I wasn’t pretty enough. In high school, she said no one asked me to prom because I was too fat.”
Ellie spent years accepting her grandmother’s painful words. Like many kids and teenagers, she simply believed that when an adult tells you something it must be the truth. She never thought to question it.
Then she shared with a college friend the painful things her grandmother would say during their daily phone calls.
“I still remember his face when I told him about it. He turned to look at me and there was such compassion in his eyes. He said that’s abuse. Love is kind, Ellie, and you deserve love.”
For Ellie, it was the first time anyone had ever stood up for her. She’d never had that validation and it made her think there could be people who loved her simply for being herself.
“I started working with a counselor not long after that. She helped me see myself as a precious child of God. It took years to work through all of the verbal abuse but I eventually forgave my grandmother. I didn’t want to carry those wounds with me for the rest of my life.”
Have you experienced the power of negative words spoken into and over you? If so, I am so very sorry. The Bible tells us to speak LIFE, yet too often we do not. I’m guilty of this yet I am aware and working to change this negative pattern in my life because the Bible clearly tells me the power, good or bad, of my words. I want LIFE, for myself, my husband, my daughter-in-love and each of you, my precious readers. You too?
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 New Life Version (NLV)
God, when the people in my life aren’t kind, help me to remember that You speak love over me. When I speak unkind words to others, remind me of Your immense love for me and the power of my words, so gracious words emerge, as they are from You. Let me feel the warm embrace of Your love every day, so I may embrace others with the same loving warmth that originates with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.