Oh, those words that can cut right through! And then there are those that can soothe our pain.
Last week, I stepped to the counter at my doctor's office. "Here is your referral for your blood work," the receptionist said. But her words, though simple and mundane, were delivered in a delightful, pleasant tone.
I smiled. "Thank you."
Then I leaned toward the desk and added, "And stay as sweet as you are."
Her reaction surprised me.
"What did you say?" she said, then paused. "That's the nicest thing anyone has said to me lately."
What? I gave a simple ordinary comment and it touched her. Can our words have that power?
I think they do. So, when hubby came home that night I gave him the usual hug and after a quick peck, I said, "Do you know how much I look forward to you coming home?"
He picked me up and twirled me around. "So sweet," he said.
There you go, my theory proven. Words spoken are like a fishing line. Cast them out and you're sure to reel something in.
And that something depends on us. Caring words reel in pleasant results. Conversely, raw words cut through the heart.
Listen to what L. Tomlin once said, "Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain."
But the contrary is also true: People have a deep need to be encouraged. They have a longing to feel valued, appreciated and accepted. Our words can speak to that need.
And the effort is easy. Positive and kind words are available at all times. And even better good news is that our words are the beginning of the love God commands we must extend to others...even strangers.
The True Test
I decided to use this approach with telemarketers. Whenever they call, I search and choose words carefully.
I answer the phone. "Did you say your name was Mary?" I ask. "Well, Mary you sound like you're a nice person. So very sorry that I can't accept what you're offering. But what I'll do is pray for God to bring success in your life. Is that OK?"
There's usually silence. But one woman seemed touched because her voice choked as she said, "Thank you. I needed to hear that today."
We all have that power. Those sounds that come from our lips called words make a difference. They can change an attitude. Transform negativity. And ring a bit of joy into an otherwise gloomy life.
No wonder God said, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit" (Prov. 18:21).
And as we speak life into others, the beauty is that what we say also comes back with positive, satisfying, and pleasant feelings that make our soul happy.
Delight in that feeling as you consider that:
- Words are free.
- They require little effort.
- They're always available.
- They can be chosen with love.
- They can turn a life around.
- They can calm anger down.
Speaking loving, sincere words is like tracing a colorful rainbow across the gray skies of someone's life.
Father, thank you for the power of my words. May I use them to make a difference, to bring your light into the darkness of others, and may I be quick to praise and slow to tear down. In Jesus' name, amen.
What influence have your words had lately?
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and the author of four books. She has helped thousands conquer fear and bring back joy.
This article originally appeared at janetperezeckles.com.
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