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Praying Woman

Beware the Bitter Root

Beware the Bitter Root

by Janis Jakes

We’ve all experienced pain caused by the words of another person. While we can’t control what comes out of another person’s mouth, we can control our reaction to those words. Words only have as much power as we give them.

If only it were so …

The reality is that hurtful words can leave scars despite any attempt to negate their power. Sadly, some individuals have suffered untold damage due to spoken words. It takes the power of Jesus Christ to heal those torn and shattered places.

From a spiritual standpoint, you know to pray, trust, and walk out your faith—believing that Jesus is alive and able to bind your wounds! From a natural standpoint, consider the following:

  • When faced with someone who uses you as their verbal punching bag, separate yourself from them if possible. This is necessary for your physical safety and mental and emotional health. Pray and seek counsel from a spiritual leader in your church who is equipped by God to offer you wisdom and guidance.
  • If the person is typically kind and just had a bad moment, forgive and never mention it again. Anyone can have a bad day and the person is probably embarrassed and wishes to forget it ever happened. Treat them how you’d want to be treated. It’s okay to pretend it never happened, as long as you’re not enabling a pattern.
  • Consider meeting with the person who caused the pain but only if you can do so with a humble spirit. Just the fact you’re willing to confront the situation in love may open the other person’s eyes to the truth that he or she must guard their words. Refuse to argue. If you believe the person has sinned, and he or she is a believer, then follow the example Jesus gives in Matthew 18:15-17.

Counter Attack

The times I’ve been the recipient of painful words, I’ve used an approach that has kept a bitter root from entering my heart. I allow myself to briefly experience the pain—not because it is pleasurable—but so I remember how NOT to treat others.

This accomplishes three things:

  • Minimizes the enemy’s power to use what happened as a means of torment in my life, allowing me to move forward with minimal mental, emotional, and spiritual downtime.
  • Makes me a kinder person when I think about how I’m making another person feel with my words, actions, and deeds.
  • Causes good to come from what the enemy meant for harm—my own personal payback against the enemy of my soul for trying to hinder God’s plan in my life.

The Lord wants you healed, equipped, and ready for battle. Part of that equipping requires removing the shackles left behind by words that never had the right to take you captive. No person should ever have more power over your life than the Lord Jesus. Neither should their words hold a higher position in your heart and mind than what God says about you in His Word.

Freedom may not happen overnight, but if it’s your heart’s desire, it will happen. God will see to it. Whom the Son sets FREE is free indeed!


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Articles to inspire, encourage and equip women fiercely devoted to Jesus Christ—warriors at heart—armed with the Word of God and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.