Imagine being so blessed by someone’s life that everything they say and do encourages and inspires positive change in your life. This person can convince you that you are the most amazing person in the word even when no one else can. You hold this person with high regard and would never dare bad mouth them to their face or behind their back. In fact, you have nothing bad to say about this person at all. This person is your inspiration, your mentor, your guidance down a path to greatness and always has been. But one day things change. This person discourages an idea that you have. Not because it’s a bad idea but because they’re jealous that it was you who had the idea and not them. They become bitter and find themselves purposely breaking you down with the words they speak. Calling you small minded, telling you that you’re not good enough, disregarding your ideas. This person has just become number one on your bad list. How is it that a person who spoke so graciously to you at one point in time is now your worst enemy? They didn’t physically hurt you, they didn’t take any of your material belongings but the fact is that they messed with your heart. THAT’S the power of speaking!
Words Have Power
Words carry so much weight both naturally and spiritually. They can be sharp and conniving or delicate and heartwarming. They can harm or they can heal. Although we may not always realize just how much of an impact our words can have, we must be very selective in the words that we choose to speak. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that “life and death are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit” (NIV). Words only take a moment to be heard but sometimes a lifetime to recover from, if the person is so lucky.
Speaking to Yourself
We are verbal communicators and rely strongly on the words a person speaks. Not only are we built up or broken down by the words that others speak, we are also also shaped by the words we speak to ourselves. God has given us this incredible ability to speak things into existence the good, bad and the ugly. Each of us has reached a point in our lives where we’re talking down to ourselves. Maybe something we did didn’t succeed or maybe we find ourselves being discouraged because of the way we believe others view us. Perhaps we’re simply so nervous of how something will turn out, that we start bad mouthing it before it even happens. Everything in our lives are subject to what we speak. If you want God to heal you, speak healing. If you want to be happy, tell yourself constantly that you are happy and nothing can take it away.
Speaking to Others
It can be difficult at times to encourage others when you’ve been shot down before. Pain has a way of leaving a reminder that it was there, even after it’s gone. We tend to be cautious with the positive things we say to people but for some reason it’s so easy to speak bad things to and about them. Here’s a little secret! Remember in the beginning of this entry, we painted a mental picture of the person you look up to hurting you? Well, the hurt that you’d experience if someone did that to you, is the same hurt someone else is burdened with when you speak poorly into their life.
There’s an old saying that goes like this, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Although the intent behind this rhyme may have been to encourage kids to be optimistic and not allow negative words to affect them, I believe that rather than teaching not to listen to negative words, children should have been taught not to speak them. Words are powerful and hearts are fragile. We must protect ourselves and others from the death of negative words.
I Challenge YOU!
I am challenging you today. Speak positive words! It’s not easy but it is certainly possible. When you find yourself on the brink of calling yourself a bad name after getting an answer wrong on an assignment, encourage yourself with words like, “better luck next time” or “next time I’ll focus and pay attention so that I don’t make that same mistake again.” Also do your best to encourage someone else with positive words. If you find that your friend or family member is discouraged, try sending some positive words their way. Be blessed today and REMEMBER to speak positive words.
I love you so much and God loves you so much more.
- FARRAH LARAÉ