Have you gone through the misery of trying to build something from IKEA? It looks so good in the store… then you get home…. And you realize… I’m not very good at reading Swedish instructions. Very early in our marriage, my wife Libby assumed the ROLE of Ikea Furniture Construction Manager.
I’ve ALWAYS been really bad at building things. One of the word pictures we see God telling us again and again is that our words either build people up or tear them down. We want to think that words are just random flakes of air, when in reality — Words are BRICKS! They can either help build something or cause serious damage!
Listen to what Solomon says in the book of Proverbs:
18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Our words are like bricks – they can either build or destroy. Our words reveal what is really going on in our hearts. What if you and I used our words to build others up?
Can you imagine when people saw you they said – “Thank GOD he/she is here now, when they arrive — the whole climate of the room changes…”
In a WONDERUL BOOK on this topic, Practicing Affirmation, Sam Crabtree writes this:
“A fire not stoked goes out. A refrigerator unplugged rots the eggs, which were perfectly good not too long ago. A garden not tended erupts with weeds, not vegetables. Affirmation is the fire-stoking, refrigerator-electrifying, garden-tending side of relationships.”
HOW DO YOU DO THIS??? Here are four things that may be helpful:
#1 GET HONEST
Admit that you get so consumed with YOU that when the chance to bless others with words is before you miss it because YOU get in the way. Just admit it!
#2 GET GRACE
All of the gossip, all of the lies, all of the criticizing, all of the false promises, all of the put downs, are evidence that we are desperate for God’s grace and forgiveness in our own lives – daily!
#3 GET SPECIFIC
Don’t just tell somebody they “do a great job.” Don’t just tell someone they’re “remarkable.” REMARK about it! Tell them what you see in them. I KNOW it feels weird. I KNOW it may feel awkward at first.
But YOU can literally speak life, courage, and comfort into another human being.
#4 GET GENEROUS
I think many of us fear over puffing someone’s ego right? Maybe you’ve never seen this modeled for you… Maybe all you’ve experienced is destruction in your communication. Start today! Practice building others up with words – brick by brick and study, pay attention, focus on one or two people and breathe life into that person! Ask God to GIVE His heart for that person and to share with them the GOOD you see in them that God has given them.
“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.”