Words (spoken, written, or used) can have a huge influence and lasting legacy:
- in families and marriages
- at workplaces
- in schools, universities, and education facilities
- while talking or texting on the phone
- when commenting on social media
- when communicating with friends
- at church or when ministering to others
- when dealing with business issues
Words are so very important, especially during grief and stressful times. And words, whether positive or negative, can have such a deep, far-reaching, and lasting impact.
Children especially believe what a parent says to and about them. Did you know that over 90 percent of prison inmates were told by parents while growing up, “They’re going to put you in jail.” On the other hand, famous painter Pablo Picasso once said, “My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”
People tend to live up to what is said or continually spoken about them..it truly can become their inner dialogue. What we say and think about ourselves can have an affect as well.
Be it positive or negative, good or bad, words certainly have power.
Years ago, I heard a story that truly made an impression on my heart. The story used a feather pillow as an analogy for words. The story basically said words are like the feathers in a feather pillow…and when words have been spoken, written, or used, it’s just like busting open a feather pillow on a windy day.
Once words are spoken – whether it’s gossip, anger, or any other negative use of words – those words are “blown” everywhere…it’s virtually impossible, like the feathers of a pillow on a windy day, to retrieve all of your words back. On the other hand, if you use your words in a positive way, those feathers are beautifully blown in multiple directions. Our words truly make a huge impact!
I’ve had the joy of receiving some very positive, kind, thoughtful, loving, and encouraging words during my lifetime…and I have also been the recipient of some very harsh, hurtful, condescending, rude, and damaging words, as well.
I think we all have.
We each have a voice, or what I like to call a “microphone,” and with that microphone comes incredible responsibility. Whether we like it or not, our microphone is always “on”…there is no “off” button – meaning the people around us hear loud and clear our words. Perhaps more than we realize. This is especially true with children, our family, closest friends, and peers.
Most people…unless they are an absolute saint…have used the power of their words in not only positive ways, but negative ways as well during their lifetime.
Life happens. Stress brings out the worst of us. We speak before we think. We have a disagreement with a loved one. We have a rushed work deadline. Someone becomes snippy with us first. A car cuts us off on the highway. There are numerous opportunities to misuse our words in any given week.
There are also times we use our words to bring joy or show love. We are there for a family member or friend who is hurting. We encourage someone who needs lifted up. We share important words we know others need to hear, “I love you” … “You’re important to me” … “You can do it!” … “Great job!”
My parents always told my siblings and me as we were growing up, “Make your words sweet…you may have to eat them someday.” I have found this to be very true!
So what if you have misused or harmed others with the power, responsibility and influence of your words?
You can’t do anything about the past…other than sincerely apologize and make things right…but you can choose to commit to making your words sweet from this moment on.
Today, let’s make a commitment to use all of our words in positive ways:
…to build and not destroy.
…to encourage and not dishearten.
…to edify and not damage.
…to love and not hate.
…to bridge and not disconnect.
…to create harmony and not discordance.
…to empathize and not wound.
…to create understanding and not chaos.
…to calm and not provoke.
…to motivate and not tear down.
…to accept and not reject.
…to bless and not hurt.
…to be a vessel of positivity and refuse negativity.
Who can you encourage and praise with your words today?
Who do you know you’ve hurt or offended and need to make things right?
Who do you need to take the time to better empathize with or understand?
Who needs to see a glimpse of hope and kindness through you today?
Who needs to be built up with your words?
What ways can your words be a vessel of positivity to others?
What changes need made so your words and “microphone” leave a legacy you can be proud of?
Words are one of the most powerful things we possess. Let’s determine to continually use them wisely from this day forward.❤️
A few Bible verses to encourage you:
🌼“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”
🌸“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
~ Ephesians 4:29
🌺“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
~ Proverbs 15:1
🌷“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
~ Proverbs 16:24
💐“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
~ Psalm 19:14
🌹“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
~ James 1:26
🌻“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
~ Colossians 4:6
🌸“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
~ Colossians 3:8
🌼“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
~ Proverbs 25:11
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❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays