David and Shimei: Overcoming the Curse of Words
The curse of words includes words spoken by others (or even by yourself) that are intended to inflict harm or damage, to belittle you, or to wish you evil.
Consider the example of David, cursed and belittled by Shimei, in 2 Samuel 16. Shimei falsely accused David, attributing David’s circumstances and the loss of his kingdom to God’s judgment for alleged past sins against the house of Saul. Shimei’s words hurt!
What are the words that have been spoken to you that have wounded or “cursed” you, undeservedly? “You’re so clumsy . . . You’ll never amount to anything . . . You’ll never change . . . You’re going to be just like your mother . . .You’ll never find anyone to love you . . . I wish you were dead . . . I wish you’d never been born . . . You always . . . You never . . .” etc.
Being a child of God doesn’t make you immune to others’ cursing. The key is how you respond to these wounds. There are two possible responses:
1. Abishai, David’s bodyguard and nephew, wanted to attack—to give a curse back (v. 9).
2. David, rather than defending himself or reacting violently, restrained himself. He recognized the sovereignty of God, responded humbly, and received Shimei’s curse as from the Lord (vv. 10-12).
How will you respond?
How to Overcome or Break Free
from the Curse of Words in Your Life
1. Realize the blessing of God.
- No one can curse you apart from God’s permission (Num. 22:12, 38; 23: 8, 20, 23).
- If you are a child of God, you are blessed, in spite of (or regardless of) what others do to you.
- The blessing of God is more powerful than any human curse.
- Through the cross of Christ, God has made provision to set you free from every curse. No curse of words has to control your life any longer.
- God protects and vindicates the righteous. Those who live godly lives do not have to worry about curses coming to rest upon them.
2. Review the curse.
- What is the source of the words?
- As you review the words others have said to you in light of the Word of God, ask: “Is this true? Does it agree with what God says?”
3. Reject any words that are not true.
- Curses only have power over us if we believe them. If they’re not true, they are powerless (Prov. 26:2). When we believe them, we invest power in them.
- Make a choice to reject words that do not line up with God’s Word.
4. Renew your mind.
- Children may not know the truth, but adults are responsible to learn the truth.
- Saturate your heart and mind with the Truth of God’s Word (Phil. 4:8-9). Replace lies with Truth.
5. Receive God’s blessing.
- Even when you cannot “feel” God’s blessing, you can receive it by faith.
- After you have received God’s blessing, you are free to bless others. (Jacob’s example—Gen. 48-49)
6. Release those who have cursed you.
- We release others through forgiveness.
- Forgiving others frees us to live victoriously in God’s blessing.
7. Repent of any cursing you have done to others.
- Christians’ words should only be a source of blessing (James 3:8-11; 4:11).
- Speaking evil of believers is a characteristic of non-believers (1 Pet. 2:12; 3:16)
- Be careful about the impact of your words as a parent or with your spouse.
- Don’t be careless with words. Refrain from jesting, teasing, criticisms or constant “evaluations” that leave their mark. Don’t make snap judgments or jump to conclusions–be “slow to speak”(James 1:19).
- Be careful how you speak to children in public.
- Be careful how you speak about parents (Prov. 30:11; 20:20), in-laws, pastors, employers, teachers, Christian workers and church members, friends and neighbors, even your “enemies.”
8. Refuse to return cursing for cursing.
- Only return blessing for cursing (Rom. 12:14, 17-21).
- The biblical principle is, you will reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7). If you bless others, you will be blessed. If you curse them, you will be cursed.
9. Resolve to speak blessing.
- Speak blessings to others. Be proactive. Look for opportunities to bless, validate, and encourage.
- Speak blessings not only to others, but also about others.
- Give specific blessings–personal and appropriate (Gen. 48:1-3, 15-16; 49:28). Envision what God can do in others. Exercise faith on their behalf through a blessing that can transform their future (Heb. 11:20-21).
- Don’t just think it. Say it—now! Don’t wait for the funeral.
- Although there are many everyday opportunities to bless, blessings are also appropriate on special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
- Blessings are especially important for those under your leadership or authority. (Wives can encourage their husbands to see the value of blessing their children.)
- Words of blessing cause growth, give hope, and bring healing.
- Blessings turn hearts toward the “Blesser”—our loving, just, and faithful God.
Words are powerful, and death and life are in the power of the tongue. When we curse, demean, diminish, or belittle with our words, we speak lies—Satan’s language. When we speak the truth of God’s Word into people’s lives, we bless them.
Make the wise choice to become a blesser!
© Revive Our Hearts. By Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com
SCRIPTURE 2 Samuel 16:9-12