30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - What you say (and don't say) will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues
Day Sixteen - The Harsh Tongue
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger - Proverbs 15:1
Solomon says of the wise woman in the book of Proverbs - She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness - Proverbs 31:26 Speaking kindly to others was one of the core principles of this woman's life. When you really think about it, there is never any justification for being harsh or unkind in our communication. If we claim that God is our Father, we won't practice such behavior either. We will deliberately choose words that are warmhearted, understanding, and sympathetic. As a steward of the grace God has extended to us, we must in turn extend that same grace to others. We must cultivate the habit of speaking kind words especially to those whom we feel may not deserve it -- isn't that what grace is all about? CAUTION! This does not mean that we are to bury our heads in the sand and refuse to deal with problematic situations. However, before we approach anyone we must go to God and get His words, which always get the desired results. So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it - Isaiah 55:11 We cannot achieve God's purpose while being harsh.
There are various degrees of harshness, with verbal abuse being at the extreme end of the spectrum. The old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is totally untrue. Harsh words never die, and they can impact a person for a lifetime. If you find that you are prone to speaking harshly when angry, begin to seek God for deliverance. Whatever it takes, including enrolling in anger management classes, do it. Solomon said He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city - Proverbs 16:32 You can begin to take control over that destructive behavior by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Remember that cutting words can never be recovered, so don't let harshness or verbal abuse be named among your character traits. Make a decision that kindness will be one of the core principles of your life.
I open my mouth with wisdom. The law of kindness is on my tongue.