Words: What Are You Saying?

IMG_8161 copyThe saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” is a lie. Sometimes those names and mean words cause wounds far deeper than anything sticks or stones inflict. As a child, having names and taunts thrown at me left scars that still sting from time to time.

Words have power. They encourage or discourage. Empower or belittle. I’ve been on the receiving end of each type of word. And, I have also spoken both life-giving and life-stealing kinds of words.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Maybe it’s because of my childhood experiences that I endeavor to give words of grace. I’m not perfect at this, just ask my kids. But I am working on it. My goal is to speak words that offer life, not steal it. When I speak harshly with a loved one, I usually find myself going back to ask for forgiveness later.

The quote above is one of my life verses. Does speaking graciously mean I don’t share truth if it’s hard for the hearer? No! When I must convey a difficult truth, I pray first. I ask God to give me the right heart to say what must be said. Only after He’s done this do I share hard words. It’s possible to speak a difficult truth without being harsh, but it requires humility on my part.

My kids are much more likely to receive correction if I give it with kindness in my tone and eyes. Isn’t the same true with all those who people our lives? When I speak with kindness–with graciousness–I build others up, give them life, courage, or whatever they need in that moment. May your words be gracious, especially in the most difficult of circumstances.

What about you? When have gracious words brought life to you? What helps you when you have to share difficult truths with someone?

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8 thoughts on “Words: What Are You Saying?

  1. Jeanne, You are a natural encourager and I’ve been blessed by your words many, many times. Gracious words offer hope. Healing. A reminder that I am loved. Forgiven. Not alone in my struggles.

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  2. Jeanne, I am SO glad God led me to you. You are one the best encouragers I know!
    In 2008, I did a mission trip to Bolivia and was having a rough go of it returning to the world. I had some self esteem issues that nagged me for decades because of something a previous mission leader had said and done, and it was all very public. I poured out that man’s words to the leader of my Bolivia team and his words completley changed how I viewed myself and the weight and power I gave that other person’s words.
    He said “Don’t you understand? When God looks at you, He doesn’t see you through any other eyes than the eyes of His son. Jesus died for you, you are a new creation in Christ. God sees you through the eyes of His love,” So when I screw up, I close my eyes and see myself as God sees me, fully loved and worth dying for.

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    • Jennifer, right back at you. You are a wonderful encourager as well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your “truth over lies” story. I love how God used the leader of your Bolivia team to speak truth to the wounds in your heart! And, thank you for sharing his words–there are so many times when I need to remember God sees me through the eyes of His love. Just beautiful.

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  3. It’s soooo true, Jeanne. I have many scars from childhood as well, some of which have led to lies I believed (and still struggle with today). It’s amazing how we tend to cling to the negative words as well. That’s something to work on for me. I forget all the positive things people have said to me, and focus on the negative. But if I were to forget or ignore all the bad stuff–those things said with malice or even ignorance, things that weren’t meant to draw me back to God–and only looked at what HE said about me, then how different would my life be?

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    • Lindsay, I understand what you’re saying! It’s so much easier for me to believe the negatives and forget the positive words others have shared with me. Maybe we give each other reminders to focus on the truths, not the lies from our past and our present, eh? 🙂 I love the idea of focusing on what GOD ways about us. Thanks for sharing these thoughts today.

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