This morning I was reading about the power of our words to kill or to empower; to bring life or death (sometimes literally). I was reminded that it is important for us us as Christians, or even as non-churched people, to bring hope to this world, our friends, colleagues and others with whom we share life, by the way we speak..
Words of LOVE
Many of us are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13 (the Message). They are used many times at weddings (for good reason). Read this section and see how these words, if they were put into action, could transform your life and the lives of others.
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
These words should inform our speech because words once said can never be taken back.
Did you know it takes about ten positive comments to counterbalance one negative and hateful comment? If encouragement and nastiness were set on the scales what would the balance look like in regards to your words to people you know and love?
Even when you need to correct someone you can speak with respect and avoid saying words that can never be taken back.
Words of EMPOWERMENT
If you empower someone you give them hope - hope to move ahead; hope to stand tall; hope to believe in themselves and their ability to serve others.
Do you build hope into others? Do your words inspire them to fly?
Ephesians 4: 29 Let no harmful word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for building others up according to the need, so that it gives grace to those who hear it.
Do your words bring grace and hope? What about mine?