Remember this one. “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. This is a lie. Words have the power to build up and encourage, or drag down and destroy. If you hear crushing words long enough, they begin to work as a curse.
I ache inside when I hear a parent telling their child “You’re stupid”, “you’ll never amount to anything”, or adding snidey little put-downs and sarcasm. Say it often enough, the child will eventually believe it, and live it out. It may not be a conscious decision in the mind of the child, but I have seen this lived out in youngsters and adults so often.
On the other hand, just as negative words pull people down, encouraging words can build people up. Children who are genuinely praised and encouraged believe in themselves with an assurance and confidence that goes with them throughout their lives. I emphasis the word “genuine” here. I would rather be praised and affirmed, built up and encouraged. I know you do too.
Apparently, it takes about nine (9) positive comments to counteract a negative one. How much more should I look to speak with love and encouragement to those around me.
I make a pledge today:
- To speak the truth. To be totally honest and totally kind at the same time.
- Truth is like a two-edged sword. It can cut deep. Before I speak I will consider what I have to say and how it should be said.
- To use words that will heal not hurt, build up not tear down, comfort not curse.
I hope that you will also challenge yourself in this area. Let me know how you get on.
Have a great Friday.