One thing we can control

My finger hovers over the mouse. To post or not to post? I’m not worried about what my friends think or my co-workers or my grandmother. I’m worried about my friend’s mother’s friend–some woman I hardly know.

For a moment, some woman I hardly know has the power over my decision.

It’s the same after the party I attend. I fall on my bed without taking off my coat. Did I come off too strong or too quiet? Were my jokes funny? Did they even know they were jokes?

“You think too much about the details,” she tells me.

It’s paralyzing. People.

All the things I can’t control in my relationships.

She tells me she’s been studying this book lately, studying what she says.

“I know people who do that,” I tell her.

There’s the girl who has never shared someone else’s secrets with me and has barely breathed a bad word about anyone since I’ve known her.

There’s the woman whose words are like mortar. Every word she tells me about myself has built me brick by brick.

And there’s the man who listened to me for fifteen years before I started asking him for his opinion and advice.

Because they already knew there are so many things we can’t control about people.

They knew.

The girl with a harsh mentor.

The woman with an abusive husband.

The man with a depressed wife.

They knew.

We can control our words. We should.

How they bruise.

How they build.

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

 

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