I've been blessedly and painfully convicted tonight of a fatal flaw I've long battled with: my verbal tone. We all have things that we struggle to tame and grow out of, traits that have developed usually in response to hurt or injury sustained along the path we've traveled. Hurt people hurt people.
For a couple years now, I've naively believed I had the temperature of my voice under control. No longer was I the snarky teenager who refused to be wrong and shot her syllables like arrows. I had endured a large amount of humbling at the hands of life, a season I often describe as one in which every shred of self righteousness was "beaten out of me". Morbid I know, but it illustrates the feeling perfectly.
Slowly the sounds that have left my mouth and shade my words have become sharp again. Gradually, like a slow bleed with no marked turning point. That sharpness has crept into my need to control, it's slithered into my jokes and even into my statements of concern or alarm, confusing and unintentionally inuring those I value. My words are not to blame, but rather the way I utter the sounds they are made of. Arrows indeed, and I'm just as bloody by them as my loved ones.
So here begins a new chapter (or perhaps a return to an earlier one) in which I breathe deeply, mourn and tend the wounds I have caused and decide to take my thoughts captive anew-- each day, moment and situation that I open my mouth. Then sacrifice the shame within me as I allow the cleansing blood and grace of Christ to cover me (again, and not for the last time).
God, please keep making and growing me.