Words Spoken Can Never Be Recalled
I recently shared a 2-minute video on one of my business pages on Instagram, detailing my weight loss journey. My aim was to provide feedback to my followers regarding a weight loss program and products that have proven effective for me.
To my surprise, an unfamiliar person on the platform left a hateful and derogatory comment about me. Intrigued, I visited her profile and discovered that, though we had been associated with different leaderships, she was once part of the same company I was involved with. This was someone I neither recognized nor recalled interacting with. Since her comment seemed to target my accent (which I happen to cherish), I responded that I am fluent in three languages and intend to retain my accent. In response, she labeled me an illegal Haitian immigrant, implying that I should “go back where I came from.”
Initially taken aback, I chose to view this as a teachable moment, recognizing that I could either allow a stranger’s words to hurt me or learn from them. This incident also served as a reminder that we often exist within a bubble. While we engage in our work, uphold our values, and mind our own affairs, it’s easy to assume that everyone views us favorably. We rarely anticipate that someone might harbor negative sentiments towards us, let alone express such mean-spiritedness. We tend to think people have no time to engage in such negativity.
At that point, I realized that when one is achieving, making an impact, and expressing themselves, criticism is inevitable. The key lies in not allowing these criticisms to erect walls of division. Rather, it’s wiser to employ them as tools to fortify our foundations. By doing so, we transform pain into lessons and translate our life experiences into tangible actions. During what I call “brick season,” I remind myself that the human spirit possesses boundless strength. As Eleanor Roosevelt aptly put it, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
There are individuals out there who choose not to favor you. They harbor a desire to witness your downfall, gossip behind your back, and maintain a façade of friendliness to your face. Some may be strangers, while others might even include friends or family members. They prefer nurturing hate within them rather than communicating their thoughts and feelings directly. They’ll find any justification to harbor ill feelings toward you and seize any opportunity to launch an attack. The adversary may exploit them to derail your progress, often striking just as you approach a breakthrough.
This unsettling incident brought to mind a truth I had already recognized: hate, gossip, and racism are pernicious ailments. They serve as toxins that corrode and damage the spirit and mind. I call them silent destroyers. Similar to termites devouring a building’s framework, these diseases silently undermine our being, eventually manifesting in our physical well-being. Hate, gossip, and racism are deadly. They must never be allowed to take root in our hearts.
In that moment, I came to understand that I had a choice – I could counter hate and racism with more hate, or I could choose love. This reflection led me to the image of Jesus Christ on the cross, a reminder of His teachings. I could hardly fathom the excruciating pain, suffering, and humiliation of crucifixion. Even in His torment, Jesus focused on forgiving those who considered themselves His enemies.
How did He manage it? How did He ask the Father to forgive the thieves on either side of Him? How did He beseech forgiveness for the Roman soldiers who had subjected Him to mockery, spitting, beating, and crucifixion? How did Jesus seek forgiveness for the angry mob that demanded His execution?
I firmly believe that God used His crucifixion to impart a lesson. He instructed us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Jesus didn’t respond with anger, instead offering a model of how we should react to persecution. Amidst the brutality, He prayed for God’s forgiveness upon His tormentors. This action underscores Jesus as an exemplar for us to emulate.
Over the past two decades, whether addressing a single individual or speaking before thousands, my mission remains consistent – to utilize my narrative as a means of teaching, uplifting, and empowering others to enact change in their lives. I am a Haitian woman, and anyone familiar with me understands the immense pride I derive from hailing from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. My heritage serves as an unshakable foundation. Despite the hardships endured by my family and me in Haiti, I wouldn’t alter a thing. America has treated us well, and we’ve toiled diligently to build a life here. We recognize that with privilege comes responsibility.
Throughout my journey, I’ve encountered my fair share of gossips, haters, and racists. Often, I’ve chosen to disregard them. My life stands as a testament to God’s mercy and grace. I should have perished long ago, but He spared me. I’ve also uttered unkind words about others and engaged in actions misaligned with my integrity. Through the years, I’ve learned to extend to others the same grace that God has shown me. I’ve discovered that the words we utter hold power. Their impact is not restricted to others but also affects us profoundly.
Hate, racism, and gossip are maladies afflicting humanity. They are akin to festering sores, oozing negativity and polluting the minds and energies of people. If you knew that a particular action would infect your soul, spirit, body, and energy with a disease, would you still commit it?
I chose to respond to that commenter with love and compassion, emulating Christ’s teachings. When people harbor hatred or spread rumors about you, it’s never truly about you. Avoid taking it personally.
The remedy for dealing with them lies in responding with kindness. Extend grace, empathy, compassion, and love. Entrust them to God’s care and continue to live your life authentically. Recognize that their actions are attacks from the enemy and resist falling into that trap.
People may hate, gossip, and, regrettably, be racist. Often, their animosity stems from self-loathing. They spread gossip to elevate themselves in their own eyes. Sometimes, it’s the only way they know to form connections with others.
Allow them to hate and gossip about the person they think they know. Permit them to fabricate tales and falsehoods. Give them the space to continue talking and, in the process, hang themselves. While they’re occupied in their chatter, you’re focused on seeking God, improving, growing stronger, and experiencing blessings – in essence, flourishing.
My prayer for you is that you’ll shrug off negativity and forge ahead. Take time to pray for and love your enemies, even in the face of difficulty. May you maintain your smile and refuse to let them steal your joy and peace. I pray you’ll forgive them and love them regardless.
Racism is a commitment to ignorance. It’s a sickness. Gossip serves as the devil’s communication device. Don’t become his DJ. By doing so, you harm yourself and others. It’s, without a doubt, an affliction.
Love is inherent; hatred is learned. Pray that you unlearn hate, as it’s a plague. Remember, the battles of this world aren’t yours alone to fight. Entrust each struggle to God. May He silence the voices of your adversaries, thwart any secret malevolent agendas or conspiracies against you, and ensure that no weapon formed against you shall prosper in Jesus’s name. Amid the hustle and bustle of life, always bear in mind that spoken words can never be retracted.
God embodies love!
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