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Why Words Matter

While spring had sprung outside with the song of chirping birds and pools of melted snow,  inside our home the darkness of winter was still upon us. Even though the hope of summer was just ahead so was that dreaded thing we had been dodging all winter long- influenza.     

In the midst of fevers, missed days of school, and an abundance of hand sanitizer, I found myself bundled in a pile of germ-filled blankets on the couch.  As I wallowed in my misery and watched the house begin to fall apart, tears began to roll down my cheek and before I knew it, I was sobbing uncontrollably.  (I blame the fever!)

How are you using words in your own life lately? Do they hurt or help? There is such power and possibility in the blessings we give others. Here are a  few practical ideas to begin speaking life.My 8-year-old was just feet away, in his own state of feverish misery and after much assurance that his Mama just needed a good cry, he pulled over his makeshift tray of crayons and paper and set to work.  Minutes later, I was presented with a card from my sweet boy that read:

I love you, Mom!  You are nise (nice), freindlee (friendly), arteistik (artisitc), loveing (loving), compashine (compassionate), and Gods doter (God’s daughter)!

Oh from the mouth of babes.  My tears returned full force but this time, they were tears of joy. How easily we forget that kind words have the power to heal and how even more quickly we lose perspective and forget who we are in Christ.

As I reflected on my son’s powerful words that day, it made me wonder how I am using words in my own life lately.  In those moments we are running late and the kids have suddenly forgotten how to put on their shoes, do my words hurt or help?  When my husband walks in the door from a long day to a waiting dinner that is now cold, are my words cutting or healing?  When the customer service clerk isn’t able to complete a return I feel entitled to, do my words reflect myself or Christ?  

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

I have the power through my words to do an incredible amount of good or equally as much harm to everyone around me.  Speaking recklessly is easy and comes naturally for most of us, but choosing wise words reflects a life centered on Christ.  As my son reminded me through his words, I am God’s daughter. I am deeply loved and cherished and as a result, my life should overflow with kindness in word and deed.   

Let’s be people who speak wise life-giving words to one another so that we reflect the Lord to a world that is so often cut down by words.  Let’s practice what we preach and use our words for the good of those around us.  Here are a few practical ways to get us started:

*Write your child a note of encouragement expressing what you appreciate about them and leave it in a place they will find it.  

*Build your spouse up in front of other people while they are present.  

*Send an unexpected card to someone simply to say you were thinking of them and appreciate their friendship.  

*Compliment the clerk at the store or ask how their day is going.  Who knows what level of healing your words may mean to them that day.

*Bite your tongue when you want to complain about things that really don’t matter.  Through your words choose joy over negativity which reflects thankfulness.


Nicki Behnke

More of Nicki’s writings can be found at reallifeinreverse.blogspot.com

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