In honor of Women’s History Month, ladies enjoy this ”bad girl” series as we share our personal connections with women in the Bible who are notorious for being bad.
Peninnah was married to a man of God named Elkanah who was also married to another woman named Hannah. Peninnah was blessed with children, and Hannah was barren. Every year Elkanah made a yearly trip to the temple to worship the Lord, and every year Peninnah sharpened her tongue to pierce Hannah with her words. While the family presented their offerings to God, Peninnah made sure to point out what Hannah was lacking before Him.
So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. I Samuel 1:6, 7 (NLT)
Peninnah used what she knew about Hannah to cut her so deep that Hannah could not even enjoy her time of worship in God’s house. The scripture doesn’t say why Peninnah taunted Hannah, but it says that Peninnah did not miss an opportunity to twist the knife in Hannah’s heart year after year.
Growing up, I was a bit like Peninnah. I had a very bad temper. Whenever I was angered or upset, I would open up my mouth and spew forth words that pierced deeply into those around me. I did not care about how hurtful they were or how they cut down those who heard them, in fact, that was my goal – to inflict as much pain as I felt
However, as I matured in life and in the things of God, I realized how my actions were causing me harm. I was hurting my own witness as a Christian with my ugly attitud and my words brought division into my life. So, I made the choice to get my mouth right before the Lord.
This was not easy. The Word is clear: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 (NLT) I slipped back into hurtful habits over and over again with my words. Yet, I submitted myself to the Lord. I put my mouth before Him and asked the Holy Spirit to help me to rein in my tongue. And the Lord answered my prayer. Through humbling moments of asking forgiveness from those I’d wronged, to learning to think before I spoke, God showed me how to turn my tongue around.
Are you speaking words of life to those around you? Does your tongue build up those around you, or does it tear others down? Are you hindering someone from getting to know the Lord because of what you are speaking to them?
Today, submit your mouth to the Lord. Ask Him to remove words that hurt and to fill them with words that bring life. Challenge yourself to speak words that empower others and not tear them down.
Please help me to remember who I am in You. As Your daughter, my words should be sweet and bring life. Help me to bring my tongue into submission to Your will. Make me sensitive to the Holy Spirit when I am speaking in ways that are displeasing to You. I thank You that in You I can do all things… even tame my tongue! Amen.
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to speak words of life! You can speak with wisdom, even in the midst of trying situations. You can bless those who curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you. Your words have power! And you are EMPOWERED to use those words to build others up, not tear them down.
Ladies has your tongue been a distraction in your Christian walk? Share your growth process with us.
Tiara Wilkinson serves as the Youth Leader and on the Pastoral Care Team at Christ Worship Center in Riverdale, Illinois. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Christian Leadership at Liberty University. Tiara hosts a daily inspirational blog, “My Morning Ti”, which encourages Christians in their walk with the Lord. Her favorite passage of the Bible is Psalm 27 which reminds us that the Lord is our strength, so we have no reason to fear any thing.