The Blogger Herself

The Blogger Herself

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Do You Bite?

I'm guessing I was probably six or seven years old when the vacuum cleaner incident happened. My cousin who is four years older than me as asked  to see the vacuum cleaner, which I at the time was  playing with.  When I refused to give it to him, he yanked it out of my hand. It was then that I proceeded, to use my greatest weapon at the time. I took a big  chunk out of his skin. Yes, you read that right.  I was at one time a world-class biter :-)  I clearly remember my mom asking me why I had  bitten my cousin. I was even more surprised that he hadn't chosen to bite me back. The only thing I can figure, is I had caught him off guard. I don't remember what my punishment was, but I'm quite sure it was a long time before I chose to bite anyone.    I may have outgrown my  biting others habits, but admittedly I do bite my lip when I am nervous.   I would dare say most of us outgrow our physical biting tendency eventually.  While we may not go around biting people in the traditional sense that children often do, biting often takes a another form as adults.  We don't often think about how we verbally bite those around us, but it is a reality nonetheless.  I am a big words person, as hopefully you've noticed.    The majority of the time, I hope that I am a person who chooses her words carefully, but all have our moments right?  Words that may seem harmless, when  coated in sarcasm, can hurt, even when this is not the intention.  I love sarcasm when it is playful, but there is a line between playful and harmful.    Have you ever been on the receiving end of biting words? Have you found yourself being the one who's doing the biting? Maybe your biting simply to retaliate or fight back against someone who has verbally bitten you.  The reality about physical biting is, we hopefully outgrow that habit.  Biting  with words is a much harder habit to break.    Even in moments of anger, the words of Jesus were seasoned with truth  and gracious tones.  As a blogger and writer, I love the fact words have power!    The world vastly underestimates the power of words and tone.  I am learning that just because our words and tones may be acceptable to others, it does not mean that our words are  pleasing to the Lord's ears.  What are some ways you offer words of life to those around you, instead of words that bite and tear others down?    The more I live, the more I am discovering that you can correct in kindness or disagree in a loving way without biting.  The hard thing about biting words is that leave a mark on the memory and the heart, but the world around us tells us that we must accept biting words as the normal way.  We live in a society that has bought into the absurd idea that we are are unaffected and unaccountable for the words we say.  I have said my share of critical words, so I am not the example to follow, but Jesus is.  Jesus proves it is possible to speak bold truth without biting.    Do our words exalt others or tear them down? Do our words bring healing and change, or hurt and confusion.  Do our words offer help or are those words dripping with criticism just below the surface?         In the heat of intense moments biting and callous words are a  strong tendency, and that  is when I have found prayer is so often a lifeline.   Here are some ways I find helpful when I find myself biting others with words or being  stung by biting words.

  • Were the words given with the intention of biting, or were those words just poorly delivered either by me or to me?  
  • If these were biting words attempt  find the reason or source behind it.        
  • Repent when I am the biter , when I am being bitten/vent feelings and thoughts to God, and in journal. .
  • Stay focused on the moment, not situations of the past.  
  • Don't harbor it/if the matter can't be confronted/ Pray and ask God to enable moving on.   

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  Eph. 4:29

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." Mt. 12:36  Text taken from here