A famous saying asserts, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
As fine as that sounds, we all know that words can hurt long after the bruises of being hit by sticks or stones have faded. Hurtful words almost always hurt deeply, and they are not easily forgotten. The wise person knows not to be remembered for making cutting remarks. Instead, they present others with words that facilitate healing and goodwill. Kind and encouraging words are like a healing balm on a tortured soul, filling us with hope.
Words are mighty. No matter where they’re at in life, be careful what you say to someone. You want your comments to impact the listener’s life positively. It is wise to use words very carefully, no matter who you are talking to.
The wise person recognizes that words shape us and mold us. The phrase “I love you” sent from the right person can evoke an incredibly positive emotional response in us. “I hate you” can likewise evoke a highly negative emotional response.
I would argue that who you are is due, in part, to the words you heard growing up. If that is true, how can you use your words more carefully to shape a better tomorrow for yourself and others? Can you encourage somebody today? Maybe you can compliment the guy behind the counter at your local fast food place instead of criticizing him?
Maybe you can create some lighthearted but optimistic chit-chat with the people in your workplace. Perhaps you can encourage your family and write them a card to tell them how proud you are of them. Maybe say how much you appreciate and love your spouse.
Perhaps you can call a friend on the phone in the next few minutes? You could laugh over some old memories. Be wise and connect with someone using words that will remove any confusion regarding your love and goodwill towards them.
Teach yourself the acronym W.A.I.T., which stands for W.hy A.m I. T.alking? Before reacting to what someone just said to you in a conversation, pause for five seconds and ask yourself a few questions:
- Am I going to speak to heal or to hurt?
- Am I going to help or hinder my audience with my response?
Finally, there’s another phrase out there that says, “People might forget what you said. They might forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel!”
Remember that words create feelings, feelings trigger emotions, emotions trigger actions, and actions have consequences! That is such a powerful concept to keep in mind.
Whatever you do today, try to lift someone with your positive words! Lift people; don’t try to level them! The wise person carefully selects words of encouragement to bring healing to a hurting world.
Excerpted from The Daily Christian: Wisdom by Iann Schonken
- Think back to the last positive conversation you had with someone. Can you remember exactly every word of the conversation, or are you more inclined to retain the warm feelings of being received and encouraged?
- Think back to a very negative conversation you had recently. Are you excited to meet with that person again? Or do you feel inclined to avoid that person for a while?
- Make a quality decision that you will become a carrier of healing words into people’s lives. It is a wise thing to do and will produce a harvest of beautiful memories for many going forward. They will be excited to see you come towards them next time!