You never really know the impact of your decisions until you ultimately lose something that was a part of your every day life. You’d also want to factor in the sickening guilt you feel after it’s already been done. In this case, I want to talk about words. I’ve always said that words have power. With that power is the choice to use them for good or for evil.

I am guilty of using my words to hurt those I love in the heat of the moment when my emotions had reached their boiling point. This is why communication is so important (which is another thing I always struggled with) because by not being open with what’s simmering on the inside, it can lead to explosive situations.

I’m about to reveal a very scary thought but one I have to recognize. I’m absolutely capable of destroying a relationship I have with the closest people in my life. Now, when I mention destroy, I mean cut off that relationship, act as if the person doesn’t exist and to put it frank, be a bitch with a capital B.

Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Lao tzu

You may be thinking “as a believer, that’s the kind of attitude you allow yourself to portray?” I must confess, just because I am a believer doesn’t exempt me from feeling negative emotions. Hell, with our call to emulate who Jesus is, it’s more challenging for us than anyone else. We’re warned constantly about what we let fall from our lips.

By telling you I’m capable of this, it should sink in just how much of an impact what you speak can have in your life. Speaking the words and feeling them will always emit a different reaction. Remember that guilt? It’s safe to say I cried once the angry haze wore off. Unfortunately, the haze may not feel that just a few moments is enough to express itself. But needless to say, the damage far outweighs the length of time. It’s not something I’m proud of but it is something I’m learning to tackle head on.

Harmful words don’t just penetrate the target. They attack your character as well.

You see, feeling negative emotions is not a crime nor is it unacceptable to express them. These have to be communicated regardless if it makes you comfortable or not. But Choose. Your Words. Wisely. By doing so, you’ll avoid any future guilt while still having said your peace. Don’t destroy your closest and meaningful relationships just because you have the power to do so and your pain or anger demand to be felt.

Stand up for yourself, use your voice, and don’t be afraid to be honest, but do so in a way that isn’t damaging. Harmful words don’t just penetrate the target. They attack your character as well. It chips away at your humanity little by little until your actions start mimicking the depths of your words. Guard your mouth as well as your heart. I admit, it’s not easy to hold back… but it’s also not easy to willingly be the cause of someone else’s pain. Don’t trade your mercy for a moment of temporary satisfaction. You’ll come to realize it just wasn’t worth it.