If I was to ask you what some of the most powerful things in existence are, words would probably be WAY down on the list.
I am certain things like steel, iron, metal, cement and on and on would be right at the top.
But guess what?
If it was up to me, at the very top of that list would be words.
Words can break hearts.
They can tear relationships apart.
They can build someone up.
Or, they can absolutely destroy someone's heart and/or mind.
Some of you know exactly what I am saying, and what I mean.
I'm sure some of you are shaking your heads and muttering, "she's absolutely lost her mind."
Not that that isn't always a possibility with me, but not in this instance.
I found this in a blog written by Brandon McCaughey: "The choices we make with our language sets the parameters for our lives. The skill of expression we possess can contribute to many facets of our ability to succeed personally and professionally. The real power in words is their meaning and interpretation." (Note 1)
Brandon went on to share an important truth: "The power of words comes into play during the times when we define our reality. The words we use in our minds repeatedly to describe ourselves and our identity are some of the most powerful forces in our lives." (Note 1)
When I think about myself, neighbors, friends, schoolmates, etc., growing up, I can remember how words and/or statements affected us.
Some were blessed beyond their own knowledge to be covered with positive and supportive words and actions as they were growing up.
Some of us would not have known what to do even with the rare word of encouragement we may - or may not - have received.
"All of us know that sometimes we tend to read too deeply through the words of a text message and search for an emotional revelation or justification." (Note 1)
That is a very truth filled statement.
We have to learn the difference between sarcasm and sincerity or anger and again, sarcasm.
One last extremely powerful paragraph from Brandon: "Don’t ignore the power of words. This power will play a perpetual role in your life. Our ability to find love and joy rely entirely on the frequency of those words being sought, expressed, received, and understood." (Note 1)
Another writer who also knows the power of the written word is Katherine Hurst who said: "But it can be argued that the real power lies in our words. It is our words that provide a bold affirmation of our innermost thoughts. They are a confirmation to the world of how we see others, our lives and ourselves. It is this powerful affirmation that our words provide which enables our thoughts to manifest into a reality." (Note 2)
I think so highly of that particular article by Ms. Hurst that I strongly recommend everyone reading this click the link for Note 2 and read the article in its entirety. I believe you will thank me for that.
"But our words do more than convey information; they have an impact on people. The power of our words can burden one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. Words can exacerbate wounds and inflict them directly. Alternately, words can build up and be life-giving (Proverbs 18:21; Ephesians 4:29; Romans 10:14–15). Of all the creatures on this planet, only humans have the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God. (Note 3)
As my Abba's daughter, over time, I have realized the impact on me of words from or about others. Especially, some that have come from my Brothers and Sisters in the Word.
I truly do realize that words can completely destroy, rebuild, or build up.
"Rather than lie, we are to speak truth; rather than steal, we are to do honest labor; rather than corrupt with our speech, we are to build up. Each sin needs to be replaced with something wholesome. As followers of Christ, we should emulate the example of Jesus, whose words were so filled with grace that the multitudes were amazed (Luke 4:22)." (Note 3)
Recently, I read a meme on Facebook. Yes, I know, but this one was extraordinarily good.
Just as one example, it said: Hurt has four letters; so does the word Heal.
Oh my goodness, think about it!!
Two words. Four letters in each. Yet, look at the difference what they can and do accomplish!
Here's another that is simply perfect: The word negative consists of 8 letters; so does the word positive.
In each example, the number of letters are the same, but the power and effect of each word is completely different.
Take a moment and just think back to some verbal conversations you participated in today.
Were the words you heard and/or said positive and healing or negative and destructive?
My boss, as part of his job, listens to our phone calls at work and scores them. He is probably shoveling it on a bit thick, but, he is always telling me how much he enjoys my calls because of how I try to connect with people. How I try to build them up if they need encouragement. How I bond with my brother and sister veterans. And/or how I jump in to share something comparable I have been through that a customer had just shared.
I was not always that way.
In fact, in the attempt to make that change in myself, I am still in the infant stages.
Yet, every day, it is a conscious effort.
Before we went home-based, I used to listen to co-workers and how they handled their calls.
Now I still kind of do the same thing via our work chat.
I know I have made more mistakes in my life than anyone but Abba could ever count. Yet, He doesn't. I like that.
I look forward to my boss pointing out things I did well, but also the things I can and do need to work on. Plus, his suggestions on how to accomplish that.
One last thought I want to leave as I close this week's blog out: the word Enemies has seven letters; so does the word friends.
Food for thought for all of us this week.
Until we meet right here again, stay safe, stay blessed, stay uniquely yourself!