There was so much for me to process in Stopping Words That Hurt by Dr. Michael Sedler (you can read my full book review by clicking here). If you’ve ever been hurt by someone else’s words about you, there is help for you in this book. If you’ve ever hurt someone else with the words you’ve spoken, there is help for you in this book.
Bottom line: this book can help cut-off hurtful words and evil reports before they gain momentum. Please read this book!
Here are just a few quotes that stood out to me—
“We are so brainwashed into believing that it is permissible to violate one another verbally that it takes a concentrated effort to begin to have a new thought pattern.”
“It is imperative that you understand this truth: Just listening to an evil report can do tremendous damage to your perspective, viewpoint and overall spirit. … Joining in a negatively-driven conversation, no matter how small the participation, may destroy the testimony of a life. Listening to grumbling and ungodly attitudes eventually contaminates the spirit. The more we allow discontent to be taken in by our spirits, the greater the tendency to compromise our own speech patterns. We are being called to a high standard of living where the rewards for our faithfulness are eternal.”
“It is usual for most of us to listen without questioning. We oftentimes want to support a friend, supervisor or person of influence. In fact, a messenger may single us out because she knows we will not disagree with or question her. Are we being used because of our own gullibility and blindness to negative speech patterns?”
“We must have our antennas up and be prepared when we hear negative comments and subtle innuendos about others.”
“If we are unable to recognize the potential destruction caused by negative words, we will eventually cause injury to those around us. And, sadly, we often deceive ourselves into believing there was justification for our actions.”
“It is rude to knowingly be a part of gossip. It is not good manners to listen to verbal assaults and blatant character assassinations of people who are not present to defend themselves. It is foolishness and ignorance. We must open our eyes and discern when we are listening to evil reports in order to be accepted by the crowd.”
“A bold positive response can put out the fire.”
“Learn to avoid the trap of falling into emotional identification by getting information for yourself. Compare your feelings and thoughts with the Bible’s guidelines. Look for corroboration or contradictions as you assess the situation. And, finally, give a little more weight to the perspective of those who have been faithful, trustworthy and proven people of integrity than the words of a stranger or ‘expert’ who has no track record of honesty.”
“Fear can draw us toward God or pull us away. It can create a desire in us to cling to the truth or alter our perception of the truth. While satan wants to use fear to rob us of our faith in God, we need to continue to speak words of truth and confidence regarding our place with Christ.”
“Impurity occurs when we hear evil reports with our natural ears and minds without seeking spiritual wisdom and understanding. If we accept the words of others as truth, we will become filled with a mixture of philosophies, attitudes and beliefs.”
“A person who has responsibility over others also has great influence. If he or she shares a negative report with the general population, those with unguarded spirits will become contaminated.”
“I speak a strong word of caution to husbands and wives, significant others and close family members. We often take on the offense when a loved one is wronged or slighted. And though they may work through the issue, we still hold on to the anger and bitterness.”
“It is difficult to ‘have ears that hear’ at this point in the process. First of all, we do not see ourselves as defiled or polluted. We think we are right and can handle everything ourselves. We are suspicious about counsel. We question the motives of those giving it. We actually fight the process of cleansing using words such as manipulating, self-centered and controlling to describe the interventions of others. We accuse even our closest friends and supporters of being insensitive and uncaring. Whereas once we received challenges and guidance from others, now we meet each comment or suggestion with disdain and animosity. It is during this phase that people have a tendency to reject the process of cleansing, choosing instead to walk away from purity and to blame and curse others for their lack of support and love.”
“In order to heal with words, we must be willing to be persistent with them. Jesus frequently verbalized His love for His disciples. Once is not enough! Encouragement, praise and positive words continue to feed the soul in the same way water moistures the soil. Soil will eventually dry out and need another dose of fresh water.”
“Great people of God find a way to speak hope into others. They give a sense of purpose, of calling, of future, of destiny to those around them.”
Contrary the nursery rhyme—Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me—we all know that words do hurt! Dr. Michael Sedler addresses this topic in a unique way in Stopping Words That Hurt.
Reading that title you would think that this is a book about controlling your tongue, but we already know we’re supposed to do that, right? So Dr. Sedler takes a different angle and challenges us to control our thoughts and our environment. He shows us how being receptive to the negative words that others are speaking starts a downward cycle in our hearts and minds that leads to us not only receiving but perpetuating negative reports about others.
This book is not “pop psychology,” but is solidly grounded on biblical principles for heading-off negative reports at their source. Stopping Words That Hurt is filled with practical strategies for confronting gossipers, analyzing our own attitudes, and turning negative environments (where gossip flourishes) into positive environments where people are affirmed and built up.
I plan to use the strategies in this book to help the students that attend the youth center I direct to become catalysts for changing the environment in their schools and homes. Although adults can use this information too, I see a very receptive audience in pre-teens and teenagers. Parents, you need to read this book to be able to help your children as well.
I am a Chosen Books book reviewer.