Words are powerful; whether they are life-giving or life-taking words. That is why, if we want to make a positive difference to the world, we need to consciously choose to build people, rather than break them, with the words we use.
Maybe you have heard (or even used) the proverb: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Yet, despite using this proverb at times, we know that it just depends on which words you use, whether it will be harmful or not. Most people have been hurt by what others have said to them, whether it was a parent, a teacher, a friend or a partner, many walk around with huge scars on their hearts where other’s life-taking words have harmed them. Words like: “I can’t stand you”, “I found someone else”, “I never loved you anyway”, “I wish I never had you”, can cut your heart to shreds and too many people are struggling to deal with words like that.
On the other hand, we also know that the right word at the right time can bring healing to the soul. Maybe you have been at a particular low point in your life, when someone said to you: “you can do it”, “I believe in you”, “I love you”, “I am so proud of you”; and you felt those life-giving words lift your soul and enable you to do what you thought was impossible.
Words are powerful and we need to learn to use them to heal people, rather than harm them. With that in mind, here are two simple rules you may want to incorporate into your life:
Rule 1: If in doubt, leave it out
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. By applying this simple rule to your life, you will improve your marriage, your parenting or your work relationships significantly. When you find yourself about to break confidentiality or about to say something that will be harmful or in poor taste, keep your mouth closed; it will make a massive positive difference to your relationships.
Rule 2: Use kind words
When children are small, they don’t have any idea of how hard or soft their grip should be or how they should act towards other children. That is why you would often hear parents say to their young children: “Kind hands, kind hands”; I sometimes feel like going around saying to people: “Kind words, kind words”.
By using kind words and being gentle with others in the way you speak to them, you can bring healing and encouragement to people’s souls and indeed make the world a better place.
If we incorporate these two simple rules into our lives and live by them, we will find ourselves building people, rather than breaking them. Therefore, let’s all resolve to use more life-giving, instead of life-taking words and, in this way, make a positive difference to the world around us.