I remember sitting in worship service with Mama at the Des Arc church of Christ in the early to mid 1990s and the song leader asking us to turn to the song “Angry Words”. We were sitting towards the back left of the auditorium and I happened to look over as we were singing, and Mama was crying.
As it turns out, she and her sister, my Aunt Lottie had argued over something and had both said some hurtful words out of anger.
I don’t know if that song leader knew something I didn’t or if he was just excellent at picking out songs that the church members needed, but man am I glad he picked that particular song on that particular Sunday.
It helped two sisters realize that the things they had said to one another were wrong and shouldn’t have been said. Now, I am not privy to their private conversation as to how they resolved things and they have both passed away so I can’t ask them, but I do know that Mama started spending time with Aunt Lottie again. So, I know they made up!
For some reason, I woke up this morning with this memory in my head. Then I decided to study the song lyrics, look up some Bible verses then write down my thoughts.
Horatio R. Palmer composed the tune in 1867 from a poem that was written by an unknown author.
Angry words, oh, let them never From the tongue unbridled slip;
Matthew 12:36: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
May the heart’s best impulse ever Check them ere they soil the lip.
Proverbs 13:3: “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”
Refrain: “Love one another,” thus saith the Savior; Children obey the Father’s blest command; “Love one another,” thus saith the Savior; Children obey His blest command.
John 15:12: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Love is much too pure and holy, Friendship is too sacred far,
John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
For a moment’s reckless folly Thus to desolate and mar.
James 1:26: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
Angry words are lightly spoken, Bitt’rest thoughts are rashly stirred,
Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Brightest links of life are broken By a single angry word.
Proverbs 15:4: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
What beautiful words! I think of how they affected my Mama to the point of tears – she had a tender heart and wanted to do better. Shouldn’t we all? Shouldn’t these words affect us all to the point of tears?
How can we condition ourselves to slow down, listen to others, and think before we say something out of anger?
First things first. We have to WANT to. We must have the desire to be kind to others. To show love and not hate. Ask yourself: Do I want to be kind to others? If the answer is yes, then continue reading. If the answer is no, continue reading anyway! 😊
James 1:19: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
I believe this verse can be applied to the subject at hand. We should always allow others to speak before we interrupt them and “get them told”. Listen. If you don’t agree with what was said, try to teach that person. Getting mad and saying something mean will only alienate them.
Philippians 2:3: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
Don’t put yourself up on a pedestal. Always be humble and look at others as better than yourself. Yes. I know that can be hard, but it can be done. Do this and you will have an easier time putting others first. Once you put others first, you will also have an easier time bridling your tongue.
Hebrews 10:24: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works:”
Instead of provoking others to have an argument, why not provoke others to persevere in the Christian life? Why not provoke others to have brotherly love toward one another? Why not provoke others to glorify God by our works? Why not start today?
I will leave you with this final verse that I think is fitting:
1 Corinthians 16:14: “Let all things be done with charity.”
The Apostle Paul penned these words as part of the exhortation he sent to the brethren in Corinth. He tells them that charity (love) was to regulate all that they did. This is a rule we should follow today. It is simple, really, if you think about it. Let all things be done with love. All things we touch will be made better if we have love in our hearts. All things will be done well. To the best of our ability. Just by having the love Christ commands us to have.
Maybe you need to study more on what it means to love others. IF so, that is ok. We have the Bible and it has so much in it about love. See some more verses that would be beneficial for study:
1 John 4:8; 18-19
1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 13
1 Peter 4:8
Romans 8:28; 12:10; 13:8
There are many, many more verses we have at our fingertips. God has given us everything we need to know, concerning how to act, how to treat others, how to become Christians, and how to get to Heaven when this life is over!
Are you a Christian? Do you need to become a Christian? Please, make things right if you are not a Christian. I implore you to put God first. Your life is fleeting. Eternity is never-ending. Will you do what it takes to have an eternity in Heaven? Or will you ignore God and do what you want on this Earth?
The choice is yours. Make sure it is a choice you are willing to live an eternity with.
In Christian Love, Leah Brewer