Words could casually cross your lips today that feel completely innocent but are extremely dangerous.
You see every time you talk about what someone did to you, you strike a match in your heart and light a bitter flame once again. That’s why referencing your past could be the most dangerous words you speak today.
The difference between being a bitter and broken person or a healthy and happy person is often determined by the simple way you talk about our past.
How you talk about your past really is a big deal.
Now, if anyone was ever entitled to be a victim, it was Jesus. Instead, Scripture points out that Jesus often did something a little odd.
“When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.” — Matthew 27:12-14, emphasis added
Jesus said nothing.
I read that story and I want Jesus to speak up and defend himself, shame Pilate, and ‘wow’ the crowd. C’mon Jesus, speak up!
But our Savior said nothing.
The maker of vocal cords stood in complete silence.
Jesus knew something we forget: casual words about our past put us in enemy territory full of landmines filled with bitterness.
Talking about your past can be dangerous. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your painful past can become a healing story. In fact, it can become a platform for ministry. But you’ll need to transform your story.
Here’s the first step to transform your story from dangerous to healing:
Find meaning in your pain
This is different than simply being positive. Finding meaning allows you to identify how you have grown from your difficult experience without calling that experience good.
Here are three questions to help you find meaning in suffering:
Would your suffering be worthwhile if it helped transform another person?
What good has already come from your suffering?
What good could come from your suffering?
Imagine if you were able to honestly look back at your past and, instead of talking only about your pain and your offender, you could reference God’s hand and the good that came from it?
Your past hurt is capable of producing the most dangerous words you speak today or the most impactful words you speak today.
As we approach Easter weekend, we will acknowledge our Savior’s painful crucifixion followed by his glorious resurrection.
Our stories should reflect that pattern. Pain followed by resurrection.
I love how Joseph talked about his past pain with purpose, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Gen 50:20)