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Words…..

March 16, 2011

Words are so powerful.  Just a few spoken words can cause the stock market to plummet, can hurt people we care about, and can make us regret ever having opened our mouths!

There is certainly an art to the way we communicate.  In times of anger, we can spurt out words that we really don’t mean(or maybe we do), before we think about what we really want the outcome to be.  Do we want to resolve a conflict, or add more flame to the fire?   It can happen with our children, spouses, or any other family members or friends. If we speak from our hearts in love,  we can save everyone a lot of grief!

The way in which we phrase our words can make all the difference.  The scripture verse found in Luke 6:31, “do unto others as you would have them do to you” goes not only for what we “do” but also what we “say”.   Words can “do” just as much or more damage as physically striking someone.   Proverbs 18:21 teaches that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..”  It didn’t say “in the power of the fist” it says “tongue”.  So speaking negatively about or to someone else can cause very serious consequences.  That also includes speaking negatively about ourselves, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog topic!

We have all heard phrases like “watch what you say”, and “once you say it, you can’t take it back” or “bite your tongue (ouch!)”.  We can all relate to that, right?!

So back to the art part…we have something to say, but how should we say it?  We can try rephrasing it in our mind to see how it might sound.  Then think about how we would feel if someone was saying it to us.  I do this exercise a lot and it really works!  How can you best phrase your words to have them come out in a loving way vs. being judgmental or critical?  We should always speak to someone in order to encourage and show love, even when we have to deliver a tough message.  How many times has someone said something to us that really hurt our feelings, but they didn’t even realize what they had done?  Then we end up feeling silly about the way we might have overreacted or had been overly sensitive.  That could be true, but maybe it wasn’t us.  Maybe we are just making excuses for the other person so we wouldn’t have to go back to them to say, “you know, what you said really bothered me.”   It’s okay to tell someone they hurt your feelings, as long as you don’t come at it in a confrontational way or in an argumentative manner.  That defeats the whole purpose of correction, doesn’t it?

So here’s an example of something that happened just a few days ago.  It was such a beautiful day, so I opened the windows to let all of that fresh air breeze through the house.   Brian was cleaning out the garage, and had parked our scooter right in front of the living room window.  For some reason, he started it up (’cause that’s what guys do :).  In an instant, the gas fumes replaced that wonderfully fresh air in the living room.  It was so strong, I could feel a headache coming on..  I opened the front door.  He figured I was coming out to tell him something.. Having no idea about the fumes, he smiled at me and said “you look very pretty today.”  Whew..close one!  I could have started right in complaining about the fumes and my head as soon as I walked out the door.  Then I just said, “honey, do you think you could move the scooter away from the window?  The fumes are coming into the house.”  He then proceeded to tell me that just as soon as he started it up, he thought about the fumes, and quickly shut it off.   Now how badly would I have felt if I would have stormed out the front door and said something negative?  I’m so glad I didn’t..I would have missed that wonderful, loving compliment as well as blindside my husband with something he didn’t even mean to do!

So that’s all I wanted to share today..I know, you’re saying “what do you mean, that’s ALL?”  Hope you have a blessed day and remember, watch what you say!!