As I was considering what to write about this month, I thought about the words we write and the ones we say.
I like to play video games, and not the ones you’re probably thinking–though maybe some of those too. I like Call of Duty – shoot’em up games, even though I’m not particularly good at them. (No comments on my choice of pass-time please.) Anyway, one time I did particularly badly. Moments later, a fellow player (it’s an online game that can be played with friends or strangers), someone I didn’t know, sent me a message–like e-mail, but through the game–and told me I was so bad I should just go kill myself. I was shocked. And hurt. And now, looking back on it, I’m not sure why I was hurt. He (or she) was a stranger, probably venting frustration. His or her words should not have affected me. But they did. Somehow those words mattered to me. For days I walked around feeling depressed.
I walk with my feet turned out. In truth, if I stand with my feet parallel, my knees point inward. They have for as long as I can remember. One time, my parents and I were walking through the local mall. I was probably seven or eight at the time. As most children do, I was leading the way. I overheard my dad say something to my mom about the way I walked. I don’t remember his exact words, but I was so hurt. I tried for YEARS after that incident to fix my walk, to make my feet aim forward. To no avail. I am still self-conscious about my walk, especially through mud or snow because the evidence of my feet pointing outward is left behind for all to notice.
They have power.
The Bible has much to say about the tongue, but I’m only going to post a couple of verses for you to consider.
- Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4 (NLT)
- The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)
I’ve heard it said a time or two that fiction is all fluff. That nothing can be learned through reading it. I beg to differ. I’ve read MANY books that challenge me to be better in my spiritual walk–in forgiveness, in love, in trust, and so much more. They inspire me to be thankful for my family. And in writing my books, God teaches me MANY things. Some of them I didn’t even know I needed to learn.
So, from now on, when I sit down to write, I’m going to remember that my words matter.
When I stand in my home and am frustrated with a child who didn’t do what he/she said would be done, my words matter. I have to think about what I say and how I say it.
And something else to consider, the lack of words matter as well. Have you told your spouse or child or parent that you love them recently? Have your expressed your thankfulness for them to them? Have they done something that makes you proud? Did you tell them?
I don’t remember my parents ever saying that they loved me. This is something I’ve made sure to tell my kids often. I don’t want them to EVER doubt my love or gratitude for them.
And now that you’ve read all of these words, go out and share some uplifting and encouraging words with those in your sphere of influence. “You look great,” “That’s a good color on you,” “I love your shoes,” “Your hair looks great today,” “I love you.”
Thank you for being faithful readers. As I write this, I am praying for everyone who reads. May you hear/see God’s love for you today. May you be encouraged to share His love with someone who may need to see/hear it.
I will bless one lucky commenter with your choice of one of my single book titles. You can see those here. This giveaway ends Friday 9/6 at midnight (or thereabouts).