What Did She Just Call Me?
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer quietens anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.”
My husband and I had an enjoyable Saturday morning together that included breakfast out with friends and running errands. Together, we laughed and planned the morning away and all was great until . . . .
We made a stop for lunch at a fast food restaurant. Standing alone at the counter, we talked for a good while before realizing no one had come to take our order. Assuming no one knew we were waiting, I leaned over the counter allowing the workers in the back to see they had customers. And, it worked. I was immediately spotted. But instead of coming to wait on us, the worker hollered over to the girl manning the drive-thru window and said, “Hey, take care of that lady at the counter. She’s getting fussy!”
What? Did she really just call me fussy? I wasn’t fussy. My morning had been wonderful, giving me nothing to fuss about. I did not have a fussy look on my face, I did not say a single fussy word, nor did I give her the stink-eye. So, “fussy”? Absolutely not!
The young girl left the drive-thru window as instructed and came to take our order, leaving me puzzled over the woman’s “fussy” comment. As we began eating, I soon determined my food was not up to par. Washing it down with my drink, I noticed my iced tea tasted old. Then, drinking my old iced tea made me realize the restaurant was too cold. And, to top it off, the “fussy” comment would not leave my mind.
Exiting the restaurant, I commented on how terribly someone had parked their car and crowded into my space. But, me, fussy? No way!
On the way home, I complained to my husband about having to stop at too many red lights. And, the nerve of that lady calling me fussy!
Once home, I began to gripe about how dirty our kitchen floor was, and that I had not been fussy at the restaurant!
That is when my husband walked over to me, looked me in the eye, and asked me, “Are you being fussy now?”
What? Fussy! Not again!
That’s when reality struck. Yes, indeed, I was being fussy now. Amazingly, up until a woman (whom I had never met, I might add) called me “fussy,” I was happy and carefree, enjoying all the day had to offer. But, the defining moment of my fussy-ness was the second I was called “fussy.” My mood changed, nothing pleased me, and I morphed into fussy!
What power our words hold! Wise King Solomon writes of this very thing in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs contains the words of a man who had 1000 wives and concubines, so, obviously, he was surrounded by words all day long! Solomon knew the benefit of kind words and the power of unkind words. Just consider the following verses from Proverbs.
Proverbs 11:9 “Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly.”
Proverbs 11:12 “It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent”
Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey; sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
I’m still amazed over how quickly I was transformed by one word from a stranger. What a powerful reminder to guard our words. Words have ended marriages, dissolved friendships, shattered family units, and starting wars. Yes, as humans, our words are our most powerful component. May we always use our words as tools of encouragement.
Father God, help us to guard our tongues, knowing that what comes out of our mouths reveals to the world what we store in our hearts.