Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Power of the Tongue

I stepped out of my gray mini van and walked around the back to the passenger side to get Sully out. As I unbuckled him and looked up I saw Bobby, a sweet older gentleman that I see at the Y. As he pulled out I waved and smiled. He stopped and when I pushed my sunglasses off my face and onto my head Bobby gave me the biggest smile. He said, "Wow I didn't recognize you! You look great! You have really been working hard! How much weight have you lost?"

That conversation left my heart smiling. Bobby always has kindness in his words and a warm and welcoming smile. I look forward to seeing Bobby at the Y. I look for him when I'm there because of his kindness. And he's not just like that to me. But to everyone I see him talk with. Bobby chooses words that are life giving. Refreshing and warm at the same time.

Words matter. 

That old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," is a lie. Words cut. They can cut to the deepest parts of our hearts. The wounds they leave can linger for years.

I came home from the Y and as I was getting the boys out of the van a neighbor said hello. She walked over and I told her how we'd just come back from the Y. I joked (sort of) about how I'm still trying to lose baby weight from 2 years ago. Her response was, "Well, you were never thin to begin with. Right?"

Deep breath. Sigh. Grateful I had my sunglasses on so she couldn't see the tears forming in my eyes. Words matter. My words matter. Other people's words matter.

Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat it's fruit."

Life and death. In our words. The power to wound or to lather on the healing salve of truth. I don't want fake flattery. I don't need someone to tell me I look good or that I've done something great. I believe we all should say what we mean but in grace and love and kindness. Because even when we need to speak harder truths they can be wrapped in grace. They can pass through a filter of love that makes them rich and loving. Hard doesn't have to be mean. But mean will always be hard. Love speaks hard truths and then walks the road alongside to healing and recovery and growth.

So, here's what I'm choosing to do today. To lay both of my encounters today before Jesus and I'm asking Him to speak to me today. And I'm asking Him where I have failed at speaking with words of grace and asking to be given opportunities to speak grace and truth and kindness to someone.

Our words will leave us in one of two categories- those people seek out and look forward to seeing because our words bring life.  Or those people turn away from and avoid because our words bring death. What are you bringing today dear one? Let's be people who bring life. Who speak life.

Let's eat the fruit and bear the consequences of words of life today!

Proverbs 18:21Amplified Bible (AMP)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.