Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Power of a Word

Words hold great strength.  They have the power to encourage and motivate.  Words can bring joy in the darkest hour.  But words also have the power to hurt and destroy.  Words can bring sadness to the most joyful person.

As adults, we know the power of a word.  A simple word can effect a person positively or negatively.  (Proverbs 12:18 "Careless words stab like a sword, but the words of the wise people bring healing".)  Every day we get to choose the words we speak.  We are accountable for how those words help or hurt others.  A simple kindness to another may not seem important, but as Dale Carnegie said, "Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime".

For the last 39 years, I have worked on not being defined by what people say, or maybe more importantly, by what people don't say.  As an adult, it is still a hard concept to understand.  We all crave that encouragement and acceptance.  We all wait for acknowledgement of our accomplishments or progress.  But our children are having an even more difficult time.  They are not only trying to navigate where they belong, but they are also trying to learn to not let discouraging and hateful words bring them down. (Proverbs 15:4 "A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion crushes the spirit".

Every week I see how crushing those hateful words at school can be.  My heart breaks for my girls when they are faced with these situations.  My eyes fill with tears when I hear stories of nonacceptance.  And my spirit is crushed when I see my joyful, always smiling daughter resigned to having no one at school willing to have her back.

We need to remember to teach our children the importance of a kind word.  "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24)".  There are countless kids out there, that dread going to school each day.  A simple kindness can mean the world.  Let's spread this message throughout our neighborhoods, throughout our friend circles, throughout our social media outlets.  Challenge your kids to reach out to someone who is sitting alone.  Someone who is sitting quietly and usually keeps to themselves.  Someone they've never spoken to before.  Someone who may be just waiting for that kind word.

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

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