“From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.” -Proverbs 18:20-21NIV
“Oh my gosh, are you pregnant?!”
Look of shock on my face, as I had just left the house feeling pretty good about the five pounds it took me three weeks to shed. Sure, in light of the 15 pounds my doctor said I need to lose, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but with the amount of self-control exuded to reach this feat, it seemed like I had achieved professional body-builder status!
“I mean… I can’t tell… are you still going to the gym?”
I was speechless. My first thought being, “Wow, maybe I picked the wrong dress. White adds ten pounds, right?” followed by, “Maybe my dinner last night left me looking bloated…”
As the conversation continued, I was not really engaged. My mind was spinning with the words spoken shooting like a bullet to my heart. In the back of my mind, I knew this person struggled with their weight. They had confessed it to me. I also knew this person was going through an emotionally tumultuous period in their life, and that they were hurting from a truth I had revealed to them a few months back… but I also thought very highly of this person. She had been a Christian friend, a very “spiritual” woman, who sought the Lord and operated in the gifts of the Spirit. I just couldn’t fathom this person intentionally hurting me- or hurting anyone else for that matter.
So I shared the conversation with my husband. He didn’t hesitate to laugh and point out the obvious truth. This fellow Christian’s true colors had been revealed. That curtain facade of perfection had been pulled back. She was hurting, so she wanted to hurt me. She went straight for the feminine jugular- my weight.
Side Note: As a personal trainer, I am a bit more in tune to how my body looks, even beyond being “healthy,” since maintaining a certain level of physical fitness can often provide a platform to reach other people seeking to improve their current fitness level. (Let’s be honest, do you choose the hair stylist with a bad haircut? Probably not. Do you choose the gymnastics coach who was a former Olympic athlete? Hopefully yes… and when you go to the gym, future clients can read all of the trainers’ credentials on the wall, but ultimately most people choose the trainer who they most want their body to look like- the one who can “walk the walk.” So, if I’m walking around looking a hot mess, it’s a pretty poor advertisement of my knowledge, experience, and skills.
Mission Insult: accomplished. Bam! How did I not see this coming?! And to make matters worse this happened at church– right in God’s house! I didn’t want to believe it, I suppose. But I knew my husband was right… and the more I thought about it, the more I felt sorry for her. I also knew that she was not my enemy. The devil would love to cause division within the church, wouldn’t he?! Well, I sure didn’t want that to happen. So I prayed. I prayed that God would help heal her wounds. That she could forgive me, and I could forgive her. That God would help her achieve her fitness goals, and that her life would be aligned according to His will and plan. That God would prevent her from walking down the wrong path. And then I prayed for God to send her a blessing. Once my heart felt the forgiveness only God can give, I sent her a message, letting her know it was great to see her, that I still loved her, and I prayed her heart would be open to receive it. What she does with that is her responsibility. But I did what I felt was my part.
I share this with you today to remind you of the power of your words. Life and death are in the power of our words- but as the Bible says, we eat the fruit. Words don’t just go out, scattered into the great abyss. God spoke the world into existence with His words! We can spiritually shift an atmosphere with our words. We have the power to speak life into situations, over relationships, and encourage one another. Be careful with your words. Eating the fruit means that if you speak words of death over your health, your marriage, your situations… a negative atmosphere will follow. You are opening a gateway to the enemy, and you can cause ruin and defeat.
“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” -Proverbs 13:3
I also want to remind you that as hurting people try to hurt you, remember who your real enemy is. It may feel like the person is your enemy at that moment, but don’t be fooled. They are just being used as a pawn for the devil. So pull out your shield and deflect hate with love. Try not to take it personally. They are most likely experiencing some pain and issues in their own life. Choose to release yourself and forgive that person. See that their heart is hurting. They need God’s love! Pray for them and pray for God’s protection and strength to move on… know that ‘Greater is He that is in me, than He who is in the world!’
You look good, my friend:)
Here’s to your health!