It’s amazing how backwards that saying is! I broke my ankle almost 4 years ago, but I hardly remember the pain because my ankle has healed and is probably stronger than it was before. But, my mind retains harmful and hurtful words all the time.
I sit and talk with people all the time. It’s been a huge part of my job as an adult and it’s one of the things that gives me life. I love to listen and hear people’s stories. What’s amazing to me is that when people start to open up and get authentic and transparent with their stories, they will begin sharing times when people hurt them with words. What’s tough about listening to all those stories is to hear the pain come through and how it is still alive and well in their hearts.
That’s why I believe we must choose are words carefully.
Just recently I had a moment that I’m not proud of at all. I was frustrated with a good friend and I didn’t feel they were listening to me. I felt like they were blowing me off and were dismissing me. In my hurt I said some things I regretted the moment they came out. That was 2 weeks ago and I still regret them. I immediately apologized and have since apologized and they have forgiven me, but I am still working through the embarrassment of thinking those words and not choosing them well. I’m hoping and praying I can rebuild trust with them by bringing them life with my words.
Here’s a powerful reality:
Our words can bring life. They can fill peoples buckets. They can leave people feeling full inside.
Or, they can bring the opposite of life.
They can bring hate.
They can absolutely deflate someone and leave them feeling empty inside.
Which will you choose?
Let’s Choose Life. Let’s work hard to give life to people through our words. Let’s take time to think through our words if someone hurts us. Let’s be patient with our friends, with the people we work with and our family.
2 ways to choose life
1. Don’t miss the change to encourage someone. Too often I believe we miss the encouragement train. I believe that God puts thoughts on our hearts and in our minds all the time to encourage the people around us and I think we dismiss them too quickly. We tell ourselves things like…“they know how I feel” or “they have enough people giving them support”. I think that’s just wrong.
Act on those thoughts! Tell people you love them, tell people your proud of them and pour buckets of encouraging words on your family, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors and those around you.
2. Think before you speak. This is huge, isn’t it? Too often, in our human messiness, we get offended or rattled and then we shoot off words that take away life. When you get to those moments, immediately stop and pray. Think about what you were going to say and give it God. Take the extra time to think before you speak. I know from experience that those few seconds will you spare you hours of grief.
Choose your words carefully.
Choose words that bring life.
Choose words that offer truth.
Choose your words well.