The power of the tongue- insights from guest blogger Gilly Williamson

Tuesday 11th September 2012
Recently, I have been thinking about criticism. We can all fall into that trap of speaking negatively about others so easily. I was on holidays, hearing some harsh words spoken about someone I love.
Proverbs 15:1 says,  “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
Sometimes it is easy to end up criticising someone when we agree with a wrong choice they have made- the choice of university, a business venture, the friends they hang out with- the list goes on. Whilst I said very little, I felt convicted because I didn’t speak up for the person being criticised, especially in their absence.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like honey from a honeycomb- sweet to the spirit and healthy for the body.” 
After I returned home, I decided to ring each person who I’d been with, after praying and asking God for some wise words to speak. I said, “This person has made their choice. I am choosing to support them in this choice they have made because I love them, so can we support this person together?”  Almost immediately, I could feel the atmosphere change and attitudes change too.
I then rang the person who had been criticised, expressing support to them in the choice they had made. I told them I loved them and again, I sensed the atmosphere change.
The journey is ongoing regarding guarding our hearts and lips. Perhaps in reading this, you are being reminded of words you have spoken or not spoken or times where you have criticised or where you yourself have been criticised. Do not feel condemned by it but bring it to the Lord and pray, asking him to help you forgive yourself and others. Ask Him to speak His words through you. His words always spring from a heart of love, and love never fails.
A Girl of Wisdom will speak from a heart of love, bringing a soft answer and pleasant words. You can make an amazing difference by the life-giving words you speak, SO GO FOR IT!!
Gillian Williamson is from Northern Ireland and has a background in hairdressing, missionary work, teaching and life coaching. She has a passion for other cultures particularly Scandinavia. Gillian desires to see people live out their God-given potential and find wholeness in every area of their lives.
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