The Day I Realized My Words Were Poison

I am preempting my normally scheduled Monday Revelation and Wednesday Authentic posts to share something very personal with you. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to consider taking a similar journey to mine in order to look more like Jesus.



To say I didn’t know it was coming would be a full-on lie. I did. The Holy Spirit had been at work for a while gently convicting me over my less-than loving use of my words to eviscerate another person. But I, like King David, thought I could just push it back and not deal with it.

Lo, what is that I hear? God’s tsk-tsk from heaven at my stubbornness and flat-out disobedience.


Day I Realized My Words Were Poison



I sat at lunch chatting with two ladies from my Tuesday morning Bible study. One of them asked about some changes that had taken place in an organization to which I had belonged for several years. I had been in the organization long enough, and had been close enough to the person in charge to know the cause for the changes. I was also very close to several people who had been hurt by the situation. My heart had been one of those that had been hurt.

As I answered my friend’s question, I laid the blame squarely on one particular person. I told my friends some of the things this person had done, and how so many people had been hurt and left the organization. While I did not realize until later how deeply hurt and angry I was over the whole mess, my friends told me later that they recognized it immediately.

We finished lunch and I got in my car to go home. Y’all I felt like a Mack Truck of conviction from the Holy Spirit had hit me head-on. The realization that I had sinned horribly by allowing my hurt and anger to drive my words was overwhelming. I wish I could say this was a one-time event, but it was not. I had spoken in the same angry, hurt tone to other people on several occasions. I’m sure everyone who was unfortunate enough to enter into that particular topic of conversation with me felt like they had been vomited on. I was heart-broken at how I had compromised my testimony and caused others to look down on Jesus. Heart-broken at the pain I had caused others with my poison words!

I texted my two friends and confessed what I had done. I asked for their forgiveness and they lovingly granted it. I thought that would be the end of it. How wrong I was! The Holy Spirit made it crystal clear that it was time to deal with this sin of negative words. I had no idea how often I spoke them about all kinds of subjects in my daily life, but I was about to find out.

God prescribed a three-pronged method for doing away with poison words. I would use prayer, Scripture memory, and oh dear Gussie, accountability.

Prayer would be the easy part of this. Confession, both private and public, was the beginning, but also would be necessary several times over the next 30 days. Each time I allowed poison words to spew forth, I prayed and asked forgiveness. The Lord was faithful to forgive me and encourage my heart to get back in the game and turn over control of my heart and tongue to the Holy Spirit. Slowly my need for confession decreased because my spewing of negative words decreased.

For the Scripture memorization, the Lord led me to the book of James and used a neon highlighter to show me 4 verses that I was to memorize over the course of the next month.


James 3:8 ~ No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:9 ~ With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.

James 3:10 ~ From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

James 5:9 ~ Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged.


Y’all, I knew those verses…had read them many times, but whew, the Word suddenly came alive in my heart! The more I repeated James 3:8, the more grieved I became over my negative words. My tongue truly was a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Me! A woman in ministry, for heaven’s sake. I had a tongue that eviscerated other people, even loved ones. And up till now I had not even felt one bit bad about it…well, maybe a little bit bad. Suddenly I understood what the apostle Paul meant when he lamented that he was the chief of sinners.

If you are someone who has been hurt by words that spilled from my mouth in the past, I may or may not even realize that I hurt you. I’m so very sorry and I hope you will accept my apology. I would welcome to opportunity to speak with you about the hurt I have caused. Please reach out to me.

What about you? Are you able to control your words or do they spew out like deadly poison on a regular basis? Don’t be too quick to answer. Really think about it. Are your words a blessing or a curse to other people?


On Wednesday I will share with you how the Lord led me to enter into accountability relationships in order to do away with negative-speak in my life. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday. Go HERE to read the Wednesday post and HERE to watch the Friday video post and download your FREE gift.


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I did a Bible study years ago that convicted me hugely about the words I speak to MYSELF. All too often we say things to and about ourselves that we would never, in a million years, say to another person. We demean ourselves, we shame ourselves and it is not pleasing to God. I hope you will check out this link to Me, Myself, & Lies by Jennifer Rothschild.

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  • Jerri Miller

    This is going to be a good series, Leah, because I’m pretty sure you are not the only one that needed to deal with this subject. When we harbor hurt inside of us it’s going to come out in less than pretty ways … what’s that old saying? Hurting people hurt people.

    Thanks for being transparent! Love to you! ~ Jerralea

    • You are so right, Jerralea. Hurt people hurt people. My prayer is that this short series is a blessing and an encouragement to many. Thank you for stopping in, my friend.

  • mynana

    Leah, yet again the Lord is using you to smack my backside. I have often joked about having diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain. My mouth often engages before thoughtful consideration. While reading your confession, I suddenly didn’t see the humor, but, felt the shame of such a flippant statement. God hasn’t been laughing, and my heart is heavy. Thank you for your submission to His prompting. I have a great deal of work to do. I will be watching for Wednesday.

    • Oh my friend, sharing my journey will be so worth it if it helps even one person. Hang in there. Wednesday and Friday posts are on the way. Thank you for stopping in!

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  • Julie Loos

    Yep, I’ve done it multiple times too. I want to be better and your tips on what helped you are awesome!

    • Ah, Julie, thank you for stopping in. I am glad you found something that blessed you here.

    • Thanks, Julie. So appreciate you stopping in! Happy Resurrection Day!

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  • M. E. Stephens

    Thanks for you honesty and for explaining how you are dealing with it. The tongue truly is a difficult thing to keep subject to Christ. So too is the written word at times!

    • You are absolutely correct that the written word is almost as hard as the spoken one, especially with the advent of social media. Thank you for that reminder and for stopping by to visit. Happy Resurrection Day!

  • I have done something similar – spoken harsh words about a person who has hurt me. I thought I had the right to do so, because they were in the wrong. Now, however, I realize how wrong I was because I poison the perception of the person I’m speaking to.

    • Oh Rachel, I think most of us have been guilty of speaking harsh and hurtful words. I’m so thankful that God is patient and loving with us, and that Holy Spirit calls our hearts to turn from that sin. Thank you for stopping in. I so appreciate your presence here.

  • GeorgiaGranJan

    Leah – WOW my friend, the Good Lord led me here today to read this and I’m most thankful He did. I had a gut-punching similar experience last week with my loose lips. I had no sooner rounded the corner of a hallway at work when the conviction by the Holy Spirit fell on me. I returned right back to the woman I was talking to and asked her forgiveness for speaking out of turn about someone else. I confessed to the Lord too. The hardest part for me is moving on in the forgiveness as I often continue to beat myself up with self-imposed guilt. Thank you for always being willing to tackle the hard subjects my friend. I sure love you!

    • Hey there! This taming the tongue thing is a big deal, isn’t it? I think it is something that everyone struggle with at one time or another. Thank you for stopping in and encouraging me with your presence here. I love you, too!!