I Can’t Believe I Said That!

I Can’t Believe I Said That!

A Story by Precious Prodigal

February 4, 2014: Please "Share" this new Blog Post for Precious Prodigal: http://bit.ly/1evbG5A

Deut 1:28 "Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart..."
Discouragement is an exhausting state of mind. Unfortunately, those of us who love a prodigal are quite familiar with it. Where does that discouragement come from and, even more important, is there anything we can do about it?
The first chapter of Deuteronomy tells us about the final words that Moses said to the Israelites before his death and their crossing Jordan into the Promised Land. He recounted their forty-year journey in the wilderness, their rebellion, their distrust and also their discouragement.
As I read this story again this morning, I was surprised to find that Moses also reminded them of what they had said was the source of their discouragement. It wasn’t the difficult journey, it wasn’t the lack of water, and it certainly wasn’t the hardships they had left behind in Egypt. It was the words of their brothers that had “discouraged [their] hearts.” Words are very powerful things, aren’t they? They have the power to build up, and they also have the power to tear down. There are two parts to the using of words…the words I say and the words that others say.
The first thing I thought about was the words that come out of my own mouth. I was reminded again how important it is to say the things that will encourage and build up rather than adding to the already heavy burdens my friends and loved ones are carrying. They don’t need to hear a litany of complaints and negativity from me. They probably have a list of their own legitimate complaints. While I might need to vent from time to time, my hurting family might not be the ones who need to hear it. I have a few trusted friends, who not only listen but also encourage me to see my part in the situation and challenge me to change what I can and let go of what I can’t. I need that even when I don’t like it.
That takes me to the second part, which is what I listen to and accept as fact. If I’m going to not only survive this journey but also to walk it in joy, I’m going to have to set limits. I can’t afford to listen to negativity all day long and expect to be filled with hope and peace and joy. It just doesn’t work that way. Neither can I accept and agree that everything that’s wrong in my prodigal’s life is my fault. It isn’t logical, it isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful.
On the one hand, I want to and need to be available to others who are walking a hard path. However, if they consistently dwell on the negative instead of trying to help themselves, I may have to limit the time I spend with them. It’s important that I surround myself with people who want to be part of the solution instead of wallowing in the problem. And just because someone, including my prodigal, thinks I’m to blame for everything since the Korean war doesn’t mean I have to accept that as fact.
While I am the only one responsible for the choices I make, I need to remind myself that my words and the words of others can easily “discourage my heart.” And it’s up to me to guard my own lips and guard my heart from the negative words of others.
Challenge for Today:  Can you, just for today, choose your words carefully? Can you surround yourself with people who both speak positively and hold you accountable to do the same?

© 2014 Precious Prodigal

Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
February 4, 2014:
I Can’t Believe I Said That!
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Added on February 4, 2014
Last Updated on February 4, 2014
Tags: Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, circumstances, compassion, complaining, counseling, Desperation, devotions