"Words fitly spoken..."
“Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in settings of silver.” 

Wow, friends.  What appropriate words for today!  

Raise your hand if you have been hurt over the past year because of words UNfitly spoken!  I know I have!  I have experienced so many, and because I choose to bless those who persecute me, I choose to speak LIFE over those with whom I interact, even if they do not choose to do the same.  

So many of us are dealing with anguish because of WORDS.  So what can we do right now?  Because all of us are reeling!  Do I get out there and be "me?"  What if I get criticized?  What if I get attacked?  What if I...  What if?  

Yes!  You're right.  What if!  This unpacks so much that we need to cover.  I cover these types of topics, so be sure to tell me HERE that you want to know when I post.  

What can you do to be sure to show up the way you know you were equipped to do, the way that honors who you are and what God has started within you?  Here's what I do:
(1) If I have an initial pang because of what someone says, I close the social media app, put my phone down, and choose to walk away and do something else.  My favorite things to do?  Walk, listen to a worship song (I'm an Orthodox Christian, so I listen to some uplifting chant music.)
(2) If I find myself struggling, even during my time away, wanting to engage, I choose to go deep and find out what is really bothering me.  I name it.  What's the feeling?
(3) I bless that person audibly.  That helps me stay in the framework of love and life, which is what I know God is all about, and calls me to.  It also helps me not make poor choices if and when I do engage with that person again.  
(4) I seek to understand first, to ask lots of questions.

At the heart of this is humility and love.  I also ask myself, is there anything of which I need to repent?  
At the end of the day, this is all about my connection with God.  I do not have the authority to receive from God and then choke out my brother or sister (Matthew 18:23-35).  We have graciously been given, and we must also graciously give.

On the day I wrote this reflection, initially, I also wrote that I am super happy for God's creation and products I've found to help me recover from emotional damage so I can more easily go on.  I use those, as I do the above, as well.

I'm curious, what ways to cope with challenges resulting from mean words do you use to overcome the slings and arrows that might fly on a daily basis?

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