Pr. 12:18: “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”
Almost 3 years ago, I was admitted into the hospital for a lovely 5-day visit. A dear friend of mine came to visit. She and I are close friends, and she was also my fitness pal and co-worker at the time. I vividly remember when she walked through the door because her eyes were brimming with tears and I could see pain on her face.
I eventually found out that prior to her visit she had been “beat up” and “pierced” by careless and inconsiderate comments by our co-workers concerning the cause of my condition. Feeling guilt and shame, she asked me, “Did we do this to you?” Instead of simply offering comfort and care to her as her friend was lying in the hospital, our co-workers had been criticizing our choices and pointing out how we had brought this upon me with exercise and food choices.
Since I have never been fully diagnosed, that could be true. Who knows? However, their words at that moment wounded my friend and brought her more pain that she was already feeling. It’s easy for us to think of all the kind, encouraging things they could have said to her instead that would have promoted health and comfort within her. As I was lying in the hospital bed, I began to encourage and comfort her, hoping to ease the pain they had inflicted.
This kind of situation is somewhat normal, however. Human nature makes us quick to throw out words of opinion, criticism, correction, advice, or solution; and much slower at simply offering comfort. I’m so thankful our Father in heaven isn’t as quick to do those things as we. His Word is full of healing, comfort, and consolation.
This morning I read Psalm 23, which is indeed filled with comfort:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
If you’ve been pierced by careless words, turn to the Word of God for healing. Then, being full of His Word, when we find ourselves about to pierce another with our own words, we need to take a moment to find healing words to offer instead. There is enough pain in this world already. Healing is what is truly needed.
Grateful for His staff,