Unhinged – Controlling your words
Unhinged – Controlling your words
July 10, 2017
Have you ever wanted to go verbally “unhinged” on someone—especially in the social media world, where you see craziness posted every day? How about when someone is targeting you, writing comments and posts to intentionally hurt you? Or maybe someone befriended everyone around you, but you, as a way to say you’re not wanted.
When this happens, I feel sucker-punched. Maybe you can relate. It doesn’t matter the circumstance, the age, or how much time has passed, it always stings in a different way. If that is the intent of the giver—it is working!
So, how should we respond when our words teeter on the edge of an “unhinged” avalanche?
In my own strength and wisdom, it is not pretty, and often foolish. I have imaginary “unhinged” conversations with rude and snarky comments. My feelings say to give “mea culpa’s”—“It is all my fault”—and to beg for their forgiveness to stop. My body says it’s sick and needs a Xanax.
I have to admit the first few times this happened, I did respond negatively with foolish and loud words in an attempt to defend myself. However, over time, I’ve realized this was destructive to myself, to them, and to any chance of reconciliation. I had to ask the Lord for forgiveness.
Proverbs 13:3 cuts to the chase with some straightforward words: “Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.”
When we close our mouth and turn our emotions over to Jesus, He is faithful. He hears our cries, tends to our broken heart, sees the hurt in our eyes, and understands the pain of rejection. He is moved on our behalf. Psalm 37:39 says, “The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble.“
This is not an easy struggle. My foolish flesh wants to unhinge my mouth with fighting words, but my spirit calls me to His fortress. I have a choice. I get to choose my response. And I have learned to be still, to rest, and to take a simple, quiet approach that says, “I am sorry, I love you and I miss you.”
First, I apologize, because it acknowledges that the other person is hurt by something I did (intentionally or unintentionally). Second, I remind the person that I love them because their relationship and friendship matter to me. Finally, I want them to know they are important, and that they’re always welcome in my life.
I wish I could say that this approach has healed every wronged relationship. Some are healed, while I still wait for others to respond. In those situations, I continue to stand in faith for healing, extend words of love, and keep myself from being unhinged in the waiting. This approach shapes my character, keeps me right before the Lord, and allows me to live in peace.
Karen Blandino is a pastor's wife, Texan, mother and counselor. She holds a Master's Degree in Counseling from TCU and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UTA. She has served 12 years in education. She and her husband planted 7 City Church in Ft. Worth, Texas where they serve as lead pastors.
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