orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

March 16, 2013

The danger of toxic words

Charles Holt
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Most of us are familiar with the words Toxic and Toxin.

A toxin may cause a life threatening disease. Anything toxic may cause injury or death.

A local dump may be used for getting rid of toxic industrial wastes. The air we breathe, the water we drink, etc., may be toxic.

The same may be said of our relationships with other people.

As mentioned in previous writings, there are toxic family relationships where children are abused or marriages are in trouble and the relationship between a boss and employee is characterized as stressful and toxic.

I think you will agree that the following illustrates a toxic marriage.

A husband was in big trouble when he forgot his wedding anniversary.

His wife told him, “Tomorrow there better be something in the driveway for me that goes zero to 200 in 2 seconds flat.”

The next morning the wife found a small package in the driveway. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Funeral arrangements for the husband have been set for this Saturday.

Let me quickly add that true toxic relationships are no laughing matter.

The Scripture says, “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health” (Proverbs 12:18).

Toxic talk is words that hurt, leaving people feeling hopeless. Sometimes people do it intentionally or unintentionally but it is done to hurt people, never to help them.

WE may soon forget what we have said but the damage is done. This can apply to anyone - husbands, wives, employers, friends and Christians.

Toxic words may be reduced to ‘name calling.”

For example, stupid, idiot, and worthless included in this list. The danger in name-calling focuses on the person’s character rather than a particular problem.

Calling one “a liar” instead of saying “you lied.”

Some words are plainly hurtful: stupid, idiot, and worthless are only three. And there is never an excuse for the use of a vulgar word!

Have you caught yourself exaggerating the situation?

Using “never” as in “You’re never on time.” Or, “always” as in “You’re always late.” How about “just like” as in “You’re just like your father,” or, “You’re just like your mother.”

Here’s the truth: NOBODY is “always” late and NOBODY is “just like” anybody else.

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).