Women tell me of how words have wounded them.

They walk into my counseling office and bare the scars on their hearts.

They lean into me at blogging conferences and tell of unkind comments.

They confide in me over coffee–the lines still echoing all the way back to childhood.

I nod my head, understand.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18).

Words can be weapons.

A careless remark. A bit of gossip. A little less sensitivity in a stress-filled moment. Do we know what we do to our sisters?

I sit alone and pray about this one day. I’ve become afraid of words–of what they can do. And it seems in the dark I sense a whisper, “Daughter, words can defend and protect too.”

It’s right there in our armor: “The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

We must choose how we wield our words.

In my heart I once pictured the enemy coming and a wounded woman on the ground behind me. I put my sword in front of her and said, “You can’t have her. She belongs to the King.” I still get goosebumps as I put those words on this page–because that is why I write. Because life is hard and we all fall and we need sisters who stand in the gap for us. Because words have the capacity to hold back evil, to bring forth life, to sustain, encourage, and unite us.

Words are powerful.

And if you think yours aren’t part of a battle much bigger than you, think again.

So what do we do with this knowing, this sword that’s in our hands? Sisters, let’s choose to put our words firmly on the side of the Kingdom–to use them to protect and never to harm. I’m raising my sword and pledging my allegiance to you and to the One Who Loves Us.

Will you join me?

_______________________________________________________________________________

A Commitment of Words

We commit to using our words to defend and heal, not to harm.

We will not gossip.

We will not belittle.

We will guard our sisters by always speaking the best about them, encouraging them into all God would have them to be, and offering grace instead of condemnation.

We will be loyal and loving, remembering that even if we disagree we still fight on the same side–never against each other.

We will use our words to build up not tear down, to bring hope and not hurt.

We offer our words as a powerful weapon to fight for each other on the side of all that is good, right, and true.

______________________________________________________________________

Women tell me of how words healed them.

They walk into my counseling office and share the encouragement planted in their hearts.

They lean into me at blogging conferences and tell of grace-giving comments.

They confide in me over coffee–the life-giving lines stretching all the way back to childhood.

Do we know what we do for our sisters?

Your words matter. They make a difference.

The choice is ours.

Sisters, let’s wield our s(words) in ways that change the world…starting with each other.

by Holley Gerth

Would you like to commit your words with us? Just leave a comment saying so…

p.s. Ann Voskamp and I are writing a series of letters each Tuesday about words and how we’re called to use them. We’d love for you to join us. You can read today’s letter here.

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  • http://allisblog.wordpress.com alli

    i promise, words are like blood or water, if you sprinkle water on trees they will grow. the wrong ones will wither a flower or a tree.

  • Kristen

    This has been my prayer… and you put into words so beautifully!! YES, I commit my words… to use them to build up, to strengthen, to defend, to bring life… by God’s grace!!
    Thank you for your words of exhortation!! I am encouraged and strengthened by them!!!

    • Isabel Rossy

      YES I WILL JOIN,TO BRING WORDS OF COMFORT,AND RESTAURATION TO THE WORRY ,AND HELP HEALTHEM,ESPECIALY TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS THAT HAVE BEEN HURT BY MEAN,AND ABUSIVE WORDS…

  • http://dogsdogtagsstilettos.blogspot.com/ Shauna Pearl

    This was absolutely beautiful, THANK YOU for writing this. I commit my words!!! I would like to link back to this blog on a post of my own about this commitment! Thank you again for this, very powerful.

  • liesl

    I’m committing to this!!!

  • Nancy S

    I am committing to this, Holley. Thanks for the reminder and challenge! I needed it today.
    Nancy

  • http://www.frugalcreativity.com Melissa

    Yes! I have been wounded by words and healed by words. I commit to use my words to build up and not tear down.

    Thank you for this lovely piece of writing. So true, and so well said.

  • http://hikingtowardhome.blogspot.com/ Sharon

    Great post Holley! Thank you for this reminder.

  • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

    YES!

    yes yes yes.

  • http://jasmine-aboverubies.blogspot.com Jasmine

    I commit to wielding my sword; to defending my sisters and giving life with my words .

    Thank you so much, Holley. This post was life-giving.

  • http://www.asgoodadayasany.wordpress.com Marilyn

    Yes! God is sufficient to give us both the words and the tone we need when things must be said. May He be in our words AND our silences.

  • http://www.cherylricker.com Cheryl

    You have a way with words, Holley! :) Thank you for spurring us on!

    Your post reminded me of the Scripture, “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

    It prompted me to write this little prayer:

    Father in heaven, please put a watch over my heart so evil doesn’t come close to my mouth and sicken my life those around me. Keep me contrite and repentant so I’ll walk in joy and peace. May I love deeply, live the golden rule, and promote the good in others while giving you praise.

    Amen.

  • http://www.pensieve.me Robin ~ PENSIEVE

    Words can be WORSE than sticks and stones; and interestingly, sometimes withholding them can be just as painful as wielding them.

    I believe in word power; God wouldn’t have bothered to have His Word recorded for his people if words weren’t important! You’ve penned a convicting, compelling reminder to use our words well.

    I need to print this out and hold it in front of my face for a moment to moment reminder because even though I KNOW and AGREE with these things, I don’t always practice them… :/.

    xo

    • Annie

      I like what you say, Robin about withholding words sometimes being as painful as wielding them wrongly. I think also that withholding words can be healing, as in the sharing of deep grief with silence being much wiser than trite or unfeeling comments or the companionable silence of friends who need a break from ‘chatter’ to consider more deeply words already shared. Then too there is the silence of waiting for a child, student or friend to process instructions or their own musings and not rush them or jump in to provide our ‘answers’ too soon.

      Consider this – How did the world come to be? He spoke! In the beginning the word….

  • http://www.iliveinanantbed.blogspot.com I Live in an Antbed

    Yes!!! May I never let any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

  • http://www.grandmaslettersfromafrica.blogspot.com Linda

    Oh, Holley! God has used your words to reach right into my heart and mind and to encourage me in my ministries. I join you in committing my words to our God — in both my professional life and my personal life — by His grace. I’ll print this out and share it with others, too. I’ll need to read your words again often in the future. Thank you for letting God use you this way.

    Linda

  • http://thefarmerswifetellsall.blogspot.com/ Lara

    It’s so true. I often recall one or two especially hurtful things said to me, even though they were years ago. We can’t take back our words.

  • http://www.sciencewithme.com/ Tracy

    Very nicely written post!! Too many today do not stop to think about their words before they use them. I am guilty of that myself though I do try to do better. Words can hurt and they can protect and improve as well.

  • Trina

    Great post! I commit my words to God!

  • http://29lincolnavenue.com Stacey

    This reminds me of “You’ve Got Mail” when Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan, “Those are powerful words”. He says he has the ability to cut people down with his words. And in the end, he uses them to encourage ShopGirl (his “enemy” who he secretly loves! Where is the popcorn and my dvd!!!! :)

    I always think of that line, and the gift words can be. Praying for you Holley as a word artist, that God allows you to paint the most lovely pictures and bless many! And, that He will give you women to do the same for you and your heart!

  • http://www.northernskyart.wordpress.com Beth West

    Thank you for writing this. It is so easy to let words just tumble from our mouths. Words that we have not pre-meditated on nor considered what their impact will be. I’m often guilty of this. Yet, as one who has also been on the receiving end of unkind words, I know that those words are exponentially more likely to be the ones that stick stubbornly in memory while kind words wash away (isn’t it awful!)

    I pray I will consider the impact of what I say BEFORE I speak and choose to only speak words that build up.

  • Becky

    Yes, I will, Holley. Words HAVE been on my mind lately so this is another timely post. Thank you! I’m shy and have a bad habit of leaving things unsaid that should be said. Sometimes those unsaid things could help to build up another. I’ve been trying harder to say what’s in my heart because I know what it feels like to be the recipient of kind words. And, yes, I’ve also experienced the pain of hurtful words. I found it interesting, too, how you pointed out that the word “word” is part of s(word). Wow!!!

    Love and Blesssings,

  • http://holley.dayspring.com Holley Gerth

    Oh, you beautiful word women. I wish I could hug all of you right now. Thank you for reading this, for joining in, for being here in this place and using your words wherever you are too. We’ll all learn this together, yes? So grateful for you…

  • http://mybigthree.highcallingblogs.com Monica Sharman

    Holley, you are some kinda warrior.

    I declare the commitment; I speak the plea:
    “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
    -Psalm 19:14

  • http://reluctantentertainer.com SandyCoughlin

    Yes!

    My Balcony Girls group are coming over tomorrow. We may be speaking on this topic …

    Always “to build up and not tear down.” :)

    Thank you Holley!

  • http://www.radicchis.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Yes, I will commit. Words have been so powerful in my life. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://mattandjillm.blogspot.com Jill

    Holley, thank you for this post and for ALL your God-focusing, heart-touching, life-altering, thought-provoking, Godly-example-setting, tears-in-my-eyes-causing, amazingly wonderful words! You and your words are such a HUGE blessing in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    “The WORDS of the godly are like sterling silver” — Proverbs 10:20 (NLT)

    Thank you for ALWAYS being such a shining inspiration to me!!! :0)

  • http://rcspcss8.blogspot.com Reese

    Yes, I , prayerfully, join you! Lord, help me to listen with all my heart to my sister’s; and, then listen for your response; my response.

  • Margaret Stephens

    Thank you for putting all our thoughts into such eloquent {words}. I plan to print this and start each day with it. For not only do we have the power to encourage or injure our sisters, it is everyone around us – family, the Walmart check out person, the person in the elevator with you…. Until someone gives me a kind word, I sometimes forget how much just a little can mean..and how much more being deliberately encouraging means.

  • Tess

    Yes! I join you in this endeavor to always use words in a way that glorifies God and brings others closer to Him.

  • Lori

    Your words are God’s reminder and encouragement to me as I commit to growth in the spiritual discipline of control of the tongue.

  • Stephanie M

    oh this brought me to TEARS…this is a very big battle in my life, of recent…and this just touched my heart…just last week, I promised a friend that I would do this very thing, along side her…..thank you, and YES, I will!

  • http://dailywanderings1.blogspot.com/ Amy

    Words can lift up or destroy. I lived with a verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive man for 20 years. His words were weapons that were meant to destroy me and my children.
    It is so important for us to use our words to encourage and build up, not tear down and destroy someone.
    I thank you so much, Holley, for your words of comfort, encouragement and building up that you offer so freely to your readers.
    Blessings!

  • Michele

    Words! They’re so important. Their presence or their absence. Job’s friends sat with him for 7 days and said nothing. That was more helpful than all the words they said later.

    I recently left my church because words said blocked me from moving forward in my ministry. I tried to respond with kindness and affirmation about our different paths. The lack of words since then has been painful. I feel like I should send more kind words to loosen their words.

    A precious friend introduced me to this conversation. The Lord told her to keep telling me she loved me, she obeyed, and I continue to be blessed by a sweet obedient child of God. How many people have never heard the words “I love you” or never believed them?

    I’ve said words in a knee-jerk moment that wounded and echoed through the years. Unkind word can never be taken back, but a kind word can change a relationship, a life.

    This is an amazing conversation, I will continue to think about my words!

  • Melinda McCrayIs it

    Yes I commit to this Holley. I am so inspired by the encouraging words of others. This morning my husband said “I am on my death bed.” (He has bronchitis) I said no you are not do not say that. I said “You are healed in Jesus name. He healed you 2000 years ago. Is it not the best thing in life to have God’s healing words planted in your heart.

    God seems to be calling me to write. I always have an excuse. Like I am starting my Masters in Biblical Studies. I am beginning Addiction and Recovery counseling courses. I am a mother of four, a wife, a youth pastor, and a worship leader. When would I possibly have the time? So encouraged by this challenge I choose to weild His words and write about how He has worked in my life. Still praying, but you will be the first person I invite to join me. Blessings abundant to you my dear encouraging sister.

  • http://phoenix-karenee.blogspot.com Karenee

    Word can heal. I loved your image of lifting the Word and defending the wounded. I want to point out that good and healing words are not always cotton-soft. Those sword-words we’re raising in defense are iron, sharpened in love and companionship with other Word-bearers, and when they carefully divide evil from good, it can feel like destruction instead of healing.

    But the thing is, when skillfully and humbly wielded, they remove soul-cancer and stitch up the wounds, then gently cotton-wrap the sore until only the faint scar remains. Such a multi-purposed tool Words are, profitable in so many ways.

    Thank you. I’ve often secretly longed for a defender from abusive words and wrong expectations. Though I now know of many who stand between me and evil, lifting protective prayer and corrective truth high, the greatest defense was when I learned to keep the sword of truth on my person at all times. It is changing me from a victim into a steady heart, impregnable to darts of distortion and domination. Your word picture meant a lot to me…

  • Stacey Rogers

    yes, i want to commit my words as well, to be words of life and not death, blessing and not cursing. thanks, Holley, as always for helping me to think right, so i can better live right. i haven’t met you in person, but i sure love you, sister!!! blessings! :)

  • http://www.nebraskagraceful.blogspot.com Michelle DeRusha @ Graceful

    Oh I have wounded so many with my words. Strangers, loved ones. My husband. My children. I have used my tongue more than I would ever admit to lash and wound. So this speaks powerfully to me today, Holley. And yes, I say yes, I will commit. I do commit. I pray to God that my words be used to soothe, to offer hope, to bring peace and joy, to be the voice of God through me. Amen.

  • Anonymous

    Ladies,
    Thank you so much for your words. These ones give me a lot of comfort and strength:
    Psalm 141:3
    Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
    Jeremiah 15:16
    When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.
    LOve,
    Brenda

  • http://www.crumbsfromhistable.com christina

    Good stuff, Holley! Thanks for sharing this.

  • http://deepintolove.com Craig

    Yes.

    God Bless

  • http://beingwoven.blogspot.com ~ linda

    “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
    A strong desire of my heart and hope that I will not slip. I am reading the letters of two beautiful word sisters, Ann and Holley. Your words are blessing me so. Praying first, yes! And God goes before me, before my lips, before my hands on the keyboard or in a handwritten letter.
    May His grace fall upon you this day, ~ linda

  • Celie

    I also stand committed for the breath I allow to voice words! Lord be my guide let my ears hear the words I speak and the impact of my expression that speaks as loud as any word. To overcome through the power in me your spirit of truth.

  • http://fionasmosaic.wordpress.com/ Fiona’s Mosaic

    Amen, Amen, and amen. I’m in.

  • http://10stepstofindingyourhappyplace.blogspot.com/ Galen Pearl

    Yes, I will certainly join this pledge! I am printing out the pledge and putting it on my wall to help me remember.

    Your post reminded me of two things. First, I heard a sermon once about “Speaking the Blessing,” using our words to bless those around us, especially those who might be especially vulnerable to our words, like our children, spouses, students, best friends. We can literally bless others by speaking words of blessing out loud. After that, I thought about the power of my words to bless or harm, just as you describe.

    Second, there is a concept in Buddhism of right speech, which is exactly what you are suggesting. One practice is to ask ourselves three questions before we speak. Are my words true? Are they necessary? Are they kind?

    Thank you so much for putting this in the context of a mutual pledge we can all make. What a powerful way to glorify God and bless each other during this holdiay season and through the new year.

  • Dona

    Words have the power to heal or to hurt. And once words are spoken in anger, they can never be taken back. The wounds of physical abuse will heal in time. but the wounds of verbal abuse never heal. Think before you speak or write. Be kind to one another.

  • Sue

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been hurt quite badly over the past weeks, and needed to read these words. I commit to using my own words to spread peace and calm and love where there has been animosity and unfriendliness. Thank you again. God bless.

  • http://www.magnificenceinthemundane.blogspot.com J.Noelle

    Love this post Holley and definitely stand in agreement with the pledge to commit my words! This subject is so near and dear to my heart so much so that I was prompted to write two blogposts on it back in July entitled, “The Wound of Words” and “Bombs or Balms.” May we all endeavor to not only learn this lesson but live it out each and every day. Blessings to overflow!

  • Judy

    “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37
    Those are powerful words, and certainly ones to think about often.
    There are so many verses throughout the Bible that speak of the power of words. Especially in the book of Proverbs such as; Proverbs 25:11 which says; “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances.” Can you recall times when someone said just the right words, at just the right time, when you needed them the most? What a blessing!
    On the other hand, How many times have you seen instances when the wrong words caused situations to escalate? Proverbs 15:1 says; “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.”
    How often have I been guilty of saying the wrong words at the wrong time? Too many times to count! But, Proverbs 21:23 tells me “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.”
    Therefore, my desire is to follow Soloman’s wisdom as he writes in Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
    My hope and prayer is that I will; “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
    Blessings, Judy

  • KansasGirl

    I’ve been working on this, and will keep pressing on!

  • Nell

    I know about the quality of words having been on the receiving and the giving side of hurtful, helpful, tender, loving, sometimes hateful words but your words and Ann’s words today are so thought provoking and comforting. I am so glad the Lord brought me to your emails and thank all you ladies – my sisters – and especially thank the Lord for you all. Love in Him, Nell

  • Miriam

    I have found that “words” indeed have the power of life and death in them. Once spoken or written they can not be taken back. How soothing to get a word when weary! And the great thing about giving out life giving “words” is that you get the same in return. Your words have encouraged me many times over. Thank you.

  • Marianne

    Thanks for sharing. I stronly agree with what is said here. I try and pray the verse from Psalm 141: 3 — ” Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” This has helped me many times.

  • http://www.teagirlworld.blogspot.com Amy

    I love this! Thank you for putting to WORDS what I know to be true. Yes, I will join you, by grace. I’m so glad I found your words here. . . via the conversation you’re having with Ann Voskamp. I’ve thought all week about what you shared in the previous letter, ” I am the servant and not the source.” That reminds me to be loyal with my words as well as having the courage to write, the important point you were making. Keeping Him the source is Big in so many ways.

  • http://beckykeife.blogspot.com Becky K.

    Yes! Thank you, Holley! You and your (in)courage sister writers weild your swords for us every day! And how blessed I am because of it. I’m with you in this! Blessings to you for living for the King!

  • http://www.whenheartspeaks.com Jennie

    Amen! I just heard a message about words can kill people. I quote this from my pastor “People will forget what you do but will not forget what you say.”

  • http://causeyfamily.wordpress.com Brenda

    I commit to loving my sisters the way I should, the way Jesus loves me. Thank you so much for bringing this subject into the light. I have been guilty of saying off-hand comments about my friends and not standing up for them when someone else says something bad about them. I commit to change this behaviour. Life is too hard to be battling each other. We are all in this together!

  • http://purplefacedpansy.wordpress.com Donna

    I commit to wielding my words carefully to edify and not to harm. i commit to pray before I write and to pray before I speak.

    This was a very powerful move of God in my heart.

  • http://www.marykay.ca/nancymoke Nancy M

    What a timely post Holley! It made me think of when I was younger and dreamed of being Sailor Moon; fighting to save loved ones. Your post is such a great reminder that we truly live in a parallel world; where a war is waging for the heart of those around us. If we are not careful with our words, then we will join the wrong side. So today, I ask the Holy Spirit to give me self-control as I commit my words. I want to use them to build up the Kingdom of truth. This is an area of my life that needs to come under God’s authority. I will use my words to build up not tear down, no matter what comes against me.

  • lonnie

    Thank you for putting that thought into words. I have shared it online and will print it and share it with my Church sisters.

  • Lydia

    I still have so much to learn on how to speak the right words to some of my family members,espcially to my own dear husband. Pray for me!

  • Terri Johnston

    I am commiting my words to speak only good and lift others up. Thats the only way to live.

  • Tracy

    Yes! And we need to teach our children this as well. I have high school children and I can’t believe how kids that age treat each other!. It’s a lesson I use almost daily with the preschoolers I teach: “Are you using your words to make someone feel good or to make them feel bad?” You know, the little ones almost always will answer honestly- then we can talk about the way Jesus would want us to use our words.

  • Betty-Jo

    I prayerfully commit to this. Thank you so much for posting this…God bless you!

  • http://www.momssharpeningmoms.com Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms

    Lovely Holley…this, THIS is why you are every woman’s sister. You, the epitome of thoughtfulness and encouragement, show us how to live the same by using our words to represent Him well. Beautifulness!

  • Lyndal

    With God’s help, and by His grace, I gladly join in this committment. Thank you.
    I recently went to a prayer retreat day where we were asked to remain silent for the duration. It was fascinating to reflect on how that silence (even over morning tea and lunch) affected me. I wrote a few notes along the way. But as I looked back on the time I realised that the main thing I enjoyed about the silence was the SAFETY that it gave me!! I thought it was odd at the time, but it now makes sense. Where there are no words, there are no wrong words, no bad words, no careless or rough words. Of course, there are no blessed words either – and it’s good we are not silent all the time for this reason. Still – it was an interesting discovery.
    Thrilled and blessed to have found your website and looking forward to much nutritious conversation.
    Shalom,
    Lyndal

  • http://melindatoad.com Mel’s Goin Goin Gone

    I wrote about the same thing this weekend! Posted it yesterday! Think there’s a message for me? LOL

  • http://www.faithbarista.com Bonnie Gray

    Yes, Holley! As you can see, you have a sisterhood of women standing in front of you, too. I’m right next to you, with my sword drawn to protect and build up too! We are so blessed because you are being faithful, sweet, courageous friend!

  • http://www.suzann-marie.blogspot.com/ Suzann

    Count me in !!

  • http://www.lassoingthemoon.com Sarah

    Holley,
    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and for the reminder that each one of us belongs to the King. I greatly appreciate your charge and have printed it off and taped it to my computer! Powerful, rich and divinely timed!

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com Courtney(WomenLivingWell)

    Amen to this post! I am so in!!! I want to build my sisters up!!!
    Courtney

  • Tiffany

    Yes, I commit prayerfully that my s(words) is to build up and strengthen and protect my sisters and brothers.

    Thank you Holly for sharing this. I have to be on my knees more frequently.

  • http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com Debbie

    I got goosebumps reading this. Yes, Holley, I will do my best to use my words to protect and build up. :) God bless you!

  • http://godsdreamsforme.blogspot.com Jeri @godsdreamsforme

    I will definitely join with all of you and use my words to defend and protect. I will also make sure to especially use them in my own home.

  • Beth Werner Lee

    I’m turning 45 on Dec. 20, and somehow I feel the time of being 45 is about speaking up. So this pledge, it’s heaven sent. Thank you. I’m in!

  • http://livelifeartfully.blogspot.com Jennifer

    YES! Amen!!

    This subject has been on my mind and heart for a few months now. I commit. Thank you.

  • http://lovelivingsimply.blogspot.com Catherine

    Oh, thank you, Holley!
    Count me in :) .
    Blessings,
    Catherine

  • http://aspiretoleadaquietlife.blogspot.com/ A Simple Country Girl

    Oh.

    I think I just discovered why in high school my best friends were boys (I did marry 1 of them 5 years later!) and why I was more comfortable hanging out with the fellas than girls. It is still the case, but I am finding much grace and love in friendships with a couple of online ladies who love the Lord. It is a risk, but the kinship is unlike anything I have experienced.

    Praise God!

    Blessings.

  • http://entrustedtome.wordpress.com christy

    i really appreciate this post…i know the powerfulness of words..the wounds they cause and also the wounds they can heal….thank you….

  • TN Lizzie

    In response to your challenge, I first thought I needed to apply the phrase “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” in James 1. Then I read James 1 and realize I need to apply all of it.

    John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    I want more of God in my daily life. I commit my words to be more of and for Him. Amen! Thank you, ladies!

  • Jamie

    Your words about words spoken to us and to others brought me to tears as I realized how I have failed and how I need to and want to change. I don’t normally speak harshly to others, but have lashed out so many times to my husband and about him because of his infidelity to me, our marriage, and our family. He has hurt us so much and I was wanting him to feel the pain that he continues to inflict upon us, but God wants me to realize that He has a better way for me. Please pray for me and for my husband to surrender everything in our lives to His spotlight of love. I want to be part of your sisters of the Word and words. Thank you for your healing words of Life.

  • http://www.jumpingtandem.com Deidra

    Isn’t this what we celebrate during this season? “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” There is so much power when we use our words for good…when we join in with God and use our words to create goodness where it looks like there is nothing. This post is just that – goodness.

  • Lynn

    I love this article Holley. So necessary and so true! Thank you for addressing it with us so we can be all we can be for Him! Words have killed many. I desire to be a woman who heals with His words! God Bless you and your writings.

  • http://turquoisegates.blogspot.com Genevieve Thul @ Turquoise Gates

    You and I must be on the same wavelength. :-) I was just thinking about this after watching a tidbit from Mark Driscoll and blogged about it yesterday. I was so blessed to read your post. I agree wholeheartedly!

    From yesterday’s thoughts: “What if we confined our judgments to our own actions, and kept them out of our words? How many wounds would we avoid inflicting on those we love? God says not to judge others now…it’s not time yet! Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (I Corinthians 4:5)”

    We choose every day, moment by moment, don’t we – to serve one Master or the awful other.

  • http://frommountaintops.com Elizabeth Laryn

    Holly –
    Your post has stirred my soul, deeply. Memories of the pain of words; memories of the grace and healing I have received from loving words spoken. Thank you for the reminder that my words–all of them–may do the same for others. I want memories of my words to be memories of grace and healing. — Godspeed, Elizabeth

  • http://www.findtheflametofan.blogspot.com Abby

    This is absolutely perfect…I’m going to share it wherever I can!

    Beloved sisters of Abba Father, the Lord Almighty…one in the same…be encouraged. He. is. for. you!!!

    Holley you are such a gem and I thank our God for you:)

  • http://fixingmythoughts.blogspot.com Fixing My Thoughts

    Yes, this is my fervent hope that the “words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart” are pleasing to the Lord. Thanks for your words. Bess

  • tia

    I pledge my commitment to use my words as a GIFT to those to whom I speak. Thank you for the exhortation!

  • http://www.momof4braves.blogspot.com Rhonda Schrock

    This is inspiring. It makes me want to practice lifegiving words that “defend and protect.” It convicts me of the impatient words and thoughtless words I use all too often.

    Holy Spirit, bring this to my mind throughout the day! Amen.

  • Carol

    My words have been terrible. I confess to God and to everyone reading this, that my heart gave out words that have been cruel, unkind, prideful, arragant, selfish, self-serving, and I do not want to do this anymore. God, I turn from these sins and all the self-serving sins that have been my way for a long time. I turn to Jesus, the Savior, Healer and life-changer with His Holy Spirit. Please control my life, my actions, my wants, my needs and my words, all of them. I love you Lord Jesus, I confess Jesus is Lord of my life, I confess that Jesus died on the cross for my sins (of which are many) and I believe Jesus was physically resurrected, and walked the earth after that, and was taken up to Heaven. I believe You are with me now by your Holy Spirit and I want to follow His lead and Yours. By God Grace, I want to have a spirit-filled life that works for Jesus and lives a life of humility. Amen

  • Lisa

    I love this!! It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend recently. He told me…”I speak in affirmations”…as if it is a language of its own. I kept thinking about his words and decided that I too will speak this language. So, when I have words for someone, I pray that the Lord will speak through me and pour His grace over me so that no matter whom I address, I will speak in affirmations too.

  • http://www.abokroskindoflife.com Maggie

    Probably my biggest struggle and I see it in my 5 year old. I get on to her and get on to her and it’s painful to hear her hurt people with her words. I feel unequipped…..
    This is so beautiful…

    Thank you!

  • Jacqueline

    I’m in!

  • mary

    Thank you so much for reminding me that though words can heal and bring happiness, they can bring saddness and shame, too. I will try to do as the Wod says and to think encouraging words to all that I come across each day. Thank you Holly

  • Jennifer

    Yes. I am in. I have been healed and hurt by words. Sadly my words have hurt others as well. I’ve been praying about this very thing recently. I want to commit to helping, healing and encouraging through my words. Thank You.

  • Beth

    Thank you Holley! I’m am following your letters with Ann . . . hanging on your every word and hers. I commit to life words, NO death words.

  • http://amylsullivan.blogspot.com/ Amy Sullivan

    I’m afraid I take sarcasm too far, too often. I need to rethink that.

  • Stella

    I love this, and keep referring back to it. It needs to be written on a plaque or something. YES, We all need to encourage each other. Powerful in any language. Especially the LOVE language. Would like to see it published in a pamphlet for our Bible class etc.

  • Mary

    Dear Holley, thank you for all the encouraging and teaching words. Kindly join me in prayers for my son, Julian who is involved with a girl, I guess is in occultism. She claims to be pregnant. Please pray for the salvation of all. May the enemies of God be destroyed in Jesus Name.
    Love you all, remain blessed
    Mary

  • http://undergodsmightyhand.blogspot.com Caroline

    Holley, your words consistently hold such power – power that builds up and encourages!

    Thank you for this call to commit our words. I’m in!

  • http://midwestmomments.blogspot.com/ NotJustAnotherJennifer

    Wow. I really needed to read this. I have been wounded by words, but am guilty of gossiping. Thank you for this strong reminder of how important it is to watch what I say.

  • patti

    Florence Littauer has a sermon she gives called Silver Boxes. I heard her speak years ago and it has stuck with me.

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  • http://anearthenvessel.wordpress.com Terri

    God has brought me here–finding these words of inspiration and challenge–and is beginning to complete a work in me. So grateful for your wisdom of experience and company in the ministry of words.

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  • http://kasiesallee.blogspot.com Kasie@~The Art of Life

    I do commit!!
    And it is amazing because God was speaking to me just this morning about using my words (through my blog) for Him. I’m an artist and so many people have told me that I should keep my blog professional; never speak about things that might offend others. But I can’t do that; can’t hold back my words and my love for Him.
    He is the One who inspires my art.
    I will use my words for Him.
    http://www.theartoflifeblog.com/2011/04/blogging-and-vulnerability.html
    ~Kasie

  • http://craftygodchick.blogspot.com Larissa

    Yes, I DO commit!
    I will use my words for good and not evil. For building up rather than tearing down. To encourage those around me to be strong in their faith and their truth.

  • http://www.sittinthereoncapitolhil.blogspot.com Hilary

    I promise a YES. Now and on and on as I learn how to write love on the hearts of the world.

  • http://www.pattihanan.com Patti

    YES!!! I commit myself to use words to heal. I commit to use my words to be the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, to protect, bind up wounds and encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ. Words have great power. Dear god, help me use my words wisely.

  • http://www.dawnscrafts.blogspot.com Dawnll

    Oh such perfect timing for me…words- if only that was a simple word.
    I myself have been guilty so many times of not using them wisely- or wish I could take back some I have spoken.
    I also know I have heard some pretty spectacular ones at the times I most needed them, as simple as -I am here, sending positive thoughts,God Loves You!!! All very simple but so powerful.
    I would be honored to take this pledge.

  • Berny

    Came across this today and it was just like God. Just had a very soul “stirring” time
    during lunch with my husband (best-friend) and we shared alot of words. The good
    and the hard ones that need to be heard from time to time. I do know words can harm or heal and try to live daily in light of that knowledge. I will be be thinking about this very post. With God’s help I will aim to live this pledge out daily. To God Be The Glory! Amen!

  • http://lindaspatchworkquilt.blogspot.com/ Linda

    I have been memorizing scripture and praying to this end. Yes, sweet Holley, I commit to using my words to glorify and edify.

  • Anonymous

    On earth as it is in heaven…. that’s been a motto of mine for a long time now.

    Years ago I realized that if it wasn’t in heaven, I didn’t want it in my life here on earth. And that included those words that were ugly, unkind, gossipy, snide, resentful, agitated, filled with self pity, just to mention a few.

    I was sooo moved by the vision picture you saw of the woman you protected with the Sword/word……. I’ve caught glimpses of similar kinds of pictures in my own life.

    Reading your posting today confirms and reaffirms I want my words to bring life, hope, light, healing, joy, peace…………. in other words heaven on earth to every single person I meet and live life with in some way.

    I bless you for your words and your work……………….. here’s wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places! Together we all can do it!

  • http://beautiful.wordfromhome.com Brenda @ It’s A Beautiful Life

    Ooops… I hit the send button on the comment above (anonymous) before I filled in my name and other info. Brenda

  • Sharon

    Yes, please!

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  • ~Bambi

    So thankful you both are addressing this ‘much needed to be addressed’ topic of hurting our sisters. Thank you so much!

    Yes, I am onboard with you!

    Finally, someone daring to address this plague among ‘christians.’ By this shall ALL men know that you are His disciples, that you have LOVE one for another.

  • Tanya

    Can you write something about what to do with those hurts, those scars, left by those insensitive, belittling words? They are such a tool I can feel Satan using in my life… to foster bitterness, hurt, sadness… do you have suggestions for Scripture or tools to combat him with? Praying for the POWER of God is all the lives of sisters hurt by other sisters.

  • Rachel H.

    Are we allowed to copy and print this commitment? I would very much like to know if this can be duplicated–I want to give it to a friend.

    Thank you. God bless!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Holley;yes I commit also to bring healing with my words.

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  • http://www.ponysharescheme.co.uk Bex

    Oh wow, thank you Lord for Holley & for leading me here.
    I have been so hurt, pushed & cornered by words that I have (was going to say lost but..) misplaced by ability to use them almost at all, a Passion & a gift that I have always loved to shine His light & love through, yet I find myself silent & buried & the more I see others using them beautifully the more
    I’ve shrunk in grief that they, & I, are gone. Til I found your words this week Holley, & my Lord has begun a new healing in me & a hunger to hear Him through your beautiful, humbly spoken words.

    I run a project for young people, with horses, in the UK & His plans for it just blow me away. I have been hiding from these precious ones I so passionately love for months because I’m so lost without my words.
    But your commitment about the way we use our words is exactly my heart for our young people to hold to as well & I am so excited to bring this to them (currently 60ish girls)!

    Just, thank you Holley, for obediently, boldly & humbly sharing so much overflowing beauty in words, reflecting Him. That is my desire, to reflect Him in all that I do.
    Wow…
    Bex xx

  • Elizabeth Aviles

    Words of wisdom & truth as they come during the greatest need of change. I commit to this. Words are powerful as I have found that they are a great part of our lives. I love words and love to write motivating people to strive in their lives. I pray to God that the words that come out of my mouth are those of comfort, motivation, inspiration, dedication, generosity, humility, sincerity, honesty, and over all, that when I speak I am wise enough to know that what I am saying will bless the person who is listening, hearing, and writing.

    <3
    Elizabeth Aviles