Broken Chairs and Cutting Words
In the early years of our marriage, Wayne and I moved to another city for his job. Our new house had a breakfast area, but we did not have a breakfast table. I really wanted a casual table for that area, an everyday place for us to eat as a family. Finally, after a year with an empty room, we found a table we both liked and could afford. I was so proud of that table.
We only had the table a few months when my parents came all the way from Louisiana to visit us in Wyoming. At dinnertime we all gathered around the table. Mom pulled out her chair and sat. As she scooted forward, a leg of the chair caught in the groove between two tiles. The leg snapped off, the chair tilted, and my mother hit the floor. Hard.
My immediate reaction was not words of grace. Oh, no. “You broke my chair!” is what came out of my mouth. Not, “Are you alright?!” or “Let me help you!” My mother looked so hurt, but not physically. The tumble wasn’t bad. But my words hurt her feelings. They revealed that my first thought had been for the chair, not her.
Even graceless words spoken without malice can wound, but words of grace have the power to build up and encourage. In His power and grace, God can use even my tongue as an instrument of His grace. How amazing!
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29, KJV
Kathy Howard speaks regularly at women’s events and is the author of 7 books including the new 9-week Bible study Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, Overflowing. Find out more about Kathy and find lots of free resources at www.KathyHoward.org
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