I continue to be fascinated by the power of words. I've written about this a few times ... talking about how people's words have lifted me up during difficult times (with the loss of Shalom) and completely gutted me (written in "I Can't Stand Her") ... and it leads me to feel more and more strongly to be an example of my words.
If you're anything like me, then you probably haven't always done this well either. I know that I have made the Father hang his head in shame for me ... my words are not always well chosen. Far from it. I've used words to rip apart others, in my own selfishness to lift myself up. I've used my words to deflate, to condemn, to judge. To mock. I'm certainly not proud of it - but admitting it has allowed me to grow in this area and hopefully learn from my mistakes.
I'm learning. It's a process.
I'm not sure why, but in the recent weeks I have been showered with kind words. Words of opportunity and encouragement. I am so grateful. Someone once said that it takes 15 kind words to undo the damage of one bad one. Or something like that. I believe it ... how many of us can relive that one thing that was said to us - that cut so deep - and yet we have to be reminded over and over again of the good words spoken over us.
As a parent, words are a daily lesson. My boys are getting older, learning phrases and words that are hurtful ... even in their innocence, they are learning sarcasm and insults. It's a constant reminder of how I use my own words, words that they parrot. Because of this, I've been reminded that God's Word says that our words show what's really inside of us. Luke 6:45 says, "what you say flows from your heart" and goes on to say, "if you are bitter, then you will find yourself talking about it because bitter people love to spread it around."
I don't know about you - but I sure don't want to be known as someone who's words reflect poorly on who I really am. And here's the thing - you can try all you want to make your words "perfect", but your heart will always show through ... another reminder to have my heart in check. Over and over and over and over again ...
So when I read people's FB status' ... status that rant or attack others. Status's that belittle others and are judgemental ... it's a reminder to ME of what I put out there. What do my words say of me? Sure, it's easy for me to look at the others and psycho-analyse them and say, "wow ... this and this and this ..." - but then that goes right back to MY heart. What does that say of MY words?
The other thing I've been learning about words, is choosing who's words to listen to. That's a tricky thing. I like the kind words - but is there growth to be had in the words of others that cut and hurt me? Of course. Or - are there times when I need to say, "no - I don't receive that. You don't know me, you don't really care about me ... you are taking pleasure in attacking me." Of course. I think that there's a time for both. The REAL way to grow, I believe, is by surrounding yourself with a village of people who genuinely care about you and your family. These people will give correction in love. These people will not allow you, allow me, to only be lifted up - because the truth is ... I need correction. We all do, no? Words that others who are not in relationship with us - they need to be guarded and received with caution.
So, what I've recently chosen to do is recognize who the words are coming from - where as before, I would cripple myself by listening to everyone. And let me tell you ... people who have hurt in them, who are scarred, who are bitter ... they have no problem unleashing their poison on you. On me. And truly - there's not much that one can do to stop them.
I am trying to live by all that I've shared here. I am trying to stop and encourage - text, FB, private message, phone - when God puts someone on my heart. I am trying to use my little voice to bring life, not venom. And I know - because people have already spoken this to me - that there will be some who will find fault in even that. They will say - they've even said it to my face - that my words of encouragement sicken them. That I think I'm so great. That I think I have the power to make people feel this and that.
Oh how that breaks my heart.
But again ... it goes back to our words mirroring our souls. My heart is to be so much like Jesus ... and I fail so, so, SO much. And when you say that's what your heart is - you simply get judged so much more. Every time you miss that mark - there will be someone who gets so much joy from that fall... and since I fail all the time, I must bring some people a LOT of joy *wink* ...
It's where I'm at.
Have a great one. Really. xo