Updated: May 13, 2019
How many of us have heard the saying 'sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt you.'
This has been the saying of many as a form of empowerment and a defence mechanism to uplift when faced with harsh or mean words. In life, even though we're encouraged to outwardly brush our pain and sadness off when things are said to us, a lot of the time those words manage to find themselves deep down inside of us whether we chose to acknowledge it or not.
'Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.’
And many times we have seen in the Bible where God has used the words we have spoken and allowed them to manifest physically. We see this in Ezekiel where God told him to speak to a bunch of dead bones to come alive (Ezekiel 37:4-14) or even when Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12-25). If we look at our own personal lives many things being good or bad that we have spoken have come to pass.
So now that we know this, how do we plan to use our words more effectively? Because consciously or unconsciously not only do we speak negatively to people or situations around us, we also say discouraging things to ourselves.
During a phase in my life, I found myself doing this. Before I had even started something I would utter ‘I don't think I can do this’ or called my self ‘stupid’ if I had done something wrong. In certain moments instead of speaking positively about a situation I would share the type of feelings which weren't helpful or uplifting to myself or those around me. That would then put a damper on the vibe or make people feel worse. This is something that we've all probably done at some point and it's a habit that needs to be ejected from our system.
Changing a habit is never easy but here are a few ways that could help:
Having knowledge and understanding of what God has said concerning the issue (so in this instance the effect of our words) through scriptures is a massive help because it will allow you to finally have an epiphany about your actions. Which then will allow you to become more self-aware (Proverbs 14:29)
Changing your mindset. So instead of focusing on the negative, you will choose to focus on the positive aspect of things. (Philippians 4:8)
One that really helped me was being slow to speak (James 1:19). I understood that not everything I thought or felt had to be spoken. Not everyone or situation needed a response in that very moment. This allowed me to gather my thoughts and choose my words carefully in situations. (Proverbs 29:20)
But most of all show compassion and love to one another. (John 13:34-35) Let's all extend GRACE to one another. Be patient and have an understanding. (Ephesians 4:2). What you wouldn't want to be said to you don't say to someone else.
Let us speak words that not only edify and uplift ourselves but also others.