Summary: A message to Singles on how words can either heal or hurt in relationships and in life.
Words - Toxic Talk
Prov. 12:18 and 15:1
Suppose a grocer takes inventory of his store. Buried in the bottom of his meat section he finds a package of "over ripe" hamburger. It had somehow set there for weeks turning green.
What should he do with the rotting meat? He should get rid of it immediately and make sure he never neglects the meat section again. He may have a beautiful store, stocked with gorgeous produce, but rotten meat will spoil the whole store. Customers would walk out.
It’s the same with "TALK" (words). Less than one percent of our word inventory can ruin and affect all of the rest. You might watch 99 percent of the things you say but the other one percent can cancel it out.
Most of us do not realize the effect of what we say - unintentionally sometimes.
Prov 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
What is it?------Who does it?-----Why do they do it?
1. Toxic talk - is words that sting, that hurt - words that crush the spirit, words that leave people feeling hurt and hopeless.
2. Who does it? - Anybody - Everybody - parents - husbands and wives - - relatives - employers - friends - employees - Christians - adults - children.
3. Why do people do it? - intentionally - unintentionally - out of ignorance - deliberately - to hurt people - never to help people.
4. Who gets hurt? - Children by parents - friends by each other - husbands by their wives - wives by their husbands.
Usually we don’t mean to hurt people. The words just "pop up" without planning.
We forget them but the people they hurt don’t forget.
(Sometimes words have to hurt when you confront painful realities - but that is different.)
5. Toxic Talk doesn’t lead to help - It Destroys.
6. Toxic Words are words that are usually said in haste or in anger.
I. Our First Task Is To Identify The Toxic Words In Our Speech And Get Rid Of
Prov 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
1. Name Calling -
a. Some words should be eliminated from our vocabulary because they are about name calling.
Racist - Nazi - whore - queer - retard - gimp - ethnic slurs
b. Other words are more subtle but still are hurtful.
Stupid - Idiot - Worthless
c. Name calling focuses on the character of the individual rather than on the particular problem at
hand. For example; "You’re a liar" instead of "You lied."
2. Words that wear on the soul - Some words are just ugly and negative.
"Shut up" - "Swear words" - "Vulgar words"
3. Words that take the heart out of people.
One such word is "divorce" when used by a couple when fighting. It’s like pulling out a gun in the middle of an argument. The argument shifts from the argument to the gun. It becomes a life and death struggle.
Another word is "disappoint" - "You disappoint me." - It denoted failure and rejection.
4. Words that overstate the point
a. When you are upset - it’s easy to exaggerate.
"Never" - You’re never on time.
"Always" - You’re always late.
"Just like" - You’re just like your father.
b. Exaggerations leave little room for hope
Nobody is always late - nobody is just like anybody
5. Words that rub salt into a wound.
a. If you bring up "old business."
b. If you bring up "old mistakes."
c. If you bring up "old fights’"
d. "old differences" - "old failures" - "old sins" - "past unfaithfulness"
e. Even jokes can hurt - people are sensitive.
About their weight - about their appearance - about their intelligence
Illustration - I used to tell "Polish jokes." My best friend who was polish laughed - he even told them.
One day he confided in me that deep down inside they hurt him. I quit telling Polish jokes.
5. Words that communicate personal disgust.
a. You used to have a nice figure.
b. You didn’t used to have that pot belly.
II. The Four Tongues
Four common speech patterns are described in proverbs. The first two should be coppied and the last two should be avoided.
1. The Controlled Tongue
Prov 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Prov 11:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
Prov 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.