Sticks and stones may break my bones… But words always affect me emotionally.
Complex verbal communication is one of the many ways humans are unique to all other creatures on earth. In one instant we can be telling a joke causing great laughter and hysteria with anyone within ear shot. The next minute we can say something to someone and have them so mad steam is rolling out from our ears. Words allow us to love and hate all within the same sentence. Which in turns mean they can build up and tear down.
Words are an extremely powerful tool at our disposal. In today’s technologically advanced society it has never been truer. Every word we post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is instantly scrutinized, criticized, and judged to no end.
Words and emotions have always had a love/hate relationship. Saying the right words at the right time can save someone’s life or if not used properly can cut extremely deep. The simple phrase, “You are highly respected,” or “You are such a blessing to us” can turn a crummy day into the best day ever. Not only can it help the person receiving the words of encouragement but the person giving them is blessed as well. When’s the last time you deliberately said something to encourage your pastor, husband, kids, wife, parents, homeless guy on the street, etc…?
However, the sad truth is that some of us have a problem holding our tongues and don’t think before we speak. Others don’t have such a hard time with that concept. It’s a matter of personality and how God created you. Those of you that are reading this thinking you are off the hook because you are an introvert and never talk to anyone are wrong. Generally introverts have a problem with being bold. There are times when not saying anything is more damaging than speaking without thinking.
I understand that I am painting with a broad brush today but the point remains the same. Extroverts tend to speak without thinking, which is never a good idea when they are upset. And on the other hand you have introverts who don’t speak up at all because they are scared of offending someone or having people think they are stupid, rude, etc… This fear leads them to missing an opportunity given to them by God to change someone’s life with a simple “Hello, how are you?”
Words are so powerful that God used words to create everything we see and feel around us.
Genesis 1:3 – Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
Genesis 1:6 – Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters,”
Genesis 1:9 – Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.”
Genesis 1:14 – Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night.”
Genesis 1:20 – Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.”
Genesis 1:24 – Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal,”
Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.”
Take time this week to pray to God and ask if there are areas in your communication skills that need adjusted to bring him glory. Don’t let emotions or lack thereof keep you from saying what God needs you to say (or not say). After all, God’s opinion of you is the only one that matters!