Rising above heartless words

Words, kind and unkind, and the intents behind them, often influence our thoughts and actions. Unkind words spoken to us by others may not cause physical damage, but they can shatter our view of ourselves. The fact that thoughtless, even cruel, comments often seem to hurt most after periods of flattery or self-satisfaction should alert us to be less sensitive about others' personal opinions of us, pro or con. Instead of being elated or devastated by what others say, we can put their words in proper perspective. Christian Science enables us to grow stronger by helping us to overcome both pride and hurt.

I remember an experience that was a growing time for me. I went to a gala concert, wearing a beautiful new dress, and I entered that concert hall with self-assurance. In the lobby I was delighted to see an old friend. Then came the unexpected blow. Her first words were devastatingly harsh and unkind. Suddenly it seemed as though she and the whole world saw me as a miserable flop. My self-confidence evaporated in an instant. As I look back now it seems ridiculous that a mere remark could have been so devastating, a remark I could have tossed into my mental wastebasket. But isn't that the nature of any wrong—whether serious or trivial? It appears real and powerful. No matter how the magnitude of the incident might be measured, it taught me some important lessons.

I scarcely heard that concert. I could only mull over the remark. Why? Why—and how—could she say such a mean thing? I spent the next two days in despair. At first I tried to forget, but I couldn't shake off those words. Finally, feeling the need of spiritual support, I went to see a Christian Science practitioner.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Does God talk to us?
June 29, 1987

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.