Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Robert Fulghum's version of "Sticks and Stones" is more accurate than the childhood one we've all heard. He says it like this; "Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts."
I recently experienced a situation that left me spinning. I won't get into the gory details, but I will sum it up with this, words and delivery of those words have the power to hurt you. Someone met with me to share their thoughts on something that I did; however, their approach in delivering the message was hurtful. A friend of mine put it like this, "the right message, delivered the wrong way, is the wrong message." We all remember the children's rhyme, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." First, that is NOT true, words can hurt you, and the delivery can sometimes be worse. We need to choose our words wisely and be mindful of our approach.
I learned a bunch from this experience, so here goes…..
1. Remember Grace and Truth.
Jesus is the fullness of grace and truth. I want to follow His example and at least have a balance of both. This takes skill and a bit of self-awareness. I sometimes tend to lean on the side of more grace, but I must remember to balance with the truth. Perhaps you are more black and white, and truth is easy for you, but remember to practice grace as well.
2. It's all about love.
Remember to speak the truth in love. We should always approach each tricky situation in love. Checking our motives might be a good place to start. Read over 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 before making any moves. Put on the Fruit of the Spirit and pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance.
Let's reword my friend's quote: "the right message, delivered the right way, is the right message." Let's build each other up and spur one another on, in love.
Now, what do you do when you are the recipient of a message delivered the wrong way?
1. You forgive! Forgive the offense.
Colossians 3: 12-13 says to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Ladies, forgiveness is the only balm for our wounds. Meet with Jesus, work through the pain of the delivery with Him, let Him heal your heart. Once He does the healing, then start looking at the message. Don't discard the news because of the delivery. More than likely, there is something for you to consider. It did for me!
2. Reach out to your accountability partners.
They know you inside and out. My accountability partners spoke encouragement to me, sent me scriptures, and prayed with me and for me. They reminded me how much God loves me, and there is no condemnation or shame in Him. And most important, He works all things together for good.
Unfortunately, I walked away from this situation more broken. I felt shame and guilt, and I even questioned my relationship with God. I was down for about 24 hours. That night I had a nightmare that someone stole my glitter, and I was literally sobbing. The next day when I woke up, I saw all my glitter on my dresser. God gently reminded me, "Girl, nobody can steal your glitter." My boss made me a sign for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it reads, "Glitter is just another way God lets me shine." For about a hot minute, I did not shine, but then I had to stand up, straighten my crown and remember whose Daughter I am.
Sister don't let anyone steal your glitter. We mess up every day, and unfortunately, we are hurt as well. Remember, at that moment, who you are, learn your lesson, straighten your crown and go and share your story. Someone needs to be encouraged by your words.