Words that Stick


The Cure for Toxic Talk

Key Bible Verse: When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need – words that will help others become stronger. (Ephesians 4:29, NCV)

Dig Deeper: Ephesians 4:29-32

What are the phrases etched in your memory that have shaped your life? If you are like most people, you can recall several of the many toxic phrases that have been directed at you. They could have been innocent: “Did you mean to do that to your hair?” “Why aren’t you married yet?” “I thought you would do much better than that.”

Or perhaps the words were intended to pierce your heart like a poison dagger: “I’m sick of you.” “I wish I’d never married you.” “I’ve never loved you anyway.” “You are the biggest disappointment to me.”

My hope is that you can also remember life-giving words spoken to you at the precise moment you needed them. Maybe someone told you, “I believe in you,” and it was all you needed to move forward. It could’ve been someone saying, “I’m so proud of you,” and their affirmation touched your soul. Maybe a close friend shared, “I’m more thankful for you than you could ever know,” and in return, those words meant more to you than your friend could ever know. The words spoken by a loving spouse can often communicate, “I’d marry you all over again,” reminding you of [her] support. I’m thankful for such sweet words of affirmation and encouragement.

– Craig Groeschel in Soul Detox

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