Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
“You will never amount to anything!”
“Can’t you do anything right?”
“That was a stupid answer!”
These were just a few of the messages I heard repeated throughout my childhood. My dad was a wonderful, fun-loving man when sober, but when he was drunk, he became verbally abusive.
As a child, I accepted Christ out of a desire to be safe and secure. I needed the security and peace God offered as a child of an alcoholic father. But the years of storing up Dad’s reckless words in my mind wreaked havoc on me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. My mind continually cycled back to negative and destructive thoughts, which kept me from experiencing the life God had planned for me. As a result, I remained immature in my faith, unable to walk free of the shameful words that held me captive.
Even after years of being married to a pastor and serving in ministry, I found myself going through the motions spiritually with little joy or fruit. I felt defeated and unable to get past the words that still ran through my mind: You will never be good enough.
Then I discovered the habit that would transform my life! I was in a Bible study that dealt with tearing down strongholds and discovered my biggest stronghold was my own thought life – and my only defensive weapon against this stronghold was the memorized Word of God.
Once aware of my stronghold, I made an unwavering commitment to store up an ample supply of ammunition against the enemy and his destructive lies that had taken my thought life captive. In fact, 2 Corinthians 10:5 explains this concept: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Never could I have conceived what God had in store for me through this simple commitment to memorize Scripture and take His Word to heart. I discovered God’s Word was the key to tearing down the wall of destructive words that had blocked my heart and mind. Instead of allowing the reckless words of my earthly father to define who I was, I set my mind and heart on God’s living and active Word that pierced my heart with lifegiving truths, showing me who I was in my heavenly Father’s eyes. For example, 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Over the years God has gently guided me out of the trap of reckless words by showing me how to grip tightly the Word of God. He has totally transformed my life, healing my heart and providing me with the safety and security I was seeking. Through hiding God’s Word in my heart, I have taken ownership of the truth that became my sword to cut away the lies I had believed. This truth has also produced a wealth of wisdom available as I minister to those in need and as I personally experience a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus, the Word who became flesh.
– Nancy Taylor
To learn more about Nancy’s story, check out her book, Taking the Word to Heart: Five Ways to Get a Grip on God’s Word at Amazon.com.