Your Words Will Direct Your Life
by Olga Hermans
Your words will either cause blessing or curses to come into your life. They will take you up or bring you down. You can change the atmosphere of your soul with pleasant words, such as: In my pathway is life and there is no death. (Prov. 12:28.) The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Neh. 8:10.) Because You are my Shepherd, I shall not want. (Ps. 23:1.) You will never leave me or forsake me. (Heb. 13:5.)
I would say that it is a good thing to think about the power of the words we use on a daily basis. We all like to live the best life possible, isn’t it? Well, then we also need to look at the way we choose our words.
Our words have the ability to improve our attitude, strengthen our mind, heal relationships, give wisdom in the midst of chaos, communicate ideas and speak peace into a situation.
There are so plenty possibilities for the words we use. Unfortunately, there are just as many negative possibilities. Words can create confusion, anger, hatred, and tear down in just a few moments what has taken years to build.
Although you may not notice that your words do anything negative in the world around you, I challenge you to consider ways that you can do more good in the world through the power of your words. Consider these questions as you seek to do just that:
1. Do I often find myself wishing I could take back something I’ve said or written?
The blessing and curse of words is the same: They cannot be easily undone. That’s why it is critical to choose your words carefully. Whether it is the words you use to communicate with your children or handle a conflict in your work environment, once you say something, it’s said, and once you fire off that mocking email, it’s a permanent record. You can do damage or good in a matter of seconds. Make sure your words do the latter.
2. When I hear gossip, do I give in to the urge to encourage more conversation or do I change the flow of the conversation to something more positive?
I know, I know. Some gossip is awfully tempting, but make a choice to steer clear of all of it. When you embrace all that is possible for your life, you become much less concerned with negative conversation. What does it mean to gossip? Is gossip when you tell something good about what someone else does? Of course not. It is when someone tells things about another by revealing a confidence, or with the intent to “sow discord.” Proverbs 11:13 says, “A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”Be on your guard about any negative words you allow into your environment – whether through people or media.
3. Do I wait until I am angry or frustrated to give people my opinion about their behavior, or do I take time to calm down before speaking about an emotionally-charged topic?
Nine times out of ten, waiting to respond to a situation that has you emotionally charged will result in a much calmer and wiser response. Wait a set period of time (it could be ten minutes, 24 hours or more) before addressing someone about an issue if you think you may say something too harshly or that you may later regret. Your communication will be clearer and more effective when you have time to take the emotion out of your response and think about the words you want to use.
4. When I am feeling down about my circumstances, do I speak negatively about myself?
The power of your words not only affects others, but perhaps most significantly, they affect you. Become aware of what you say about yourself – whether speaking to yourself or others. Do you beat yourself up for making a mistake? Do you tell yourself or others that you aren’t smart enough, experienced enough, talented enough, attractive enough or good enough to succeed in your endeavors? Even if your self-esteem leads you to believe these things are true, tell yourself the opposite. “I have everything I need to accomplish my dream. I am a good person. I am getting better day by day. My circumstances, whether positive or negative, do not define who I am.” Use your words to enhance, enrich and empower your life rather than allowing them to tear you down.
5. Do I feel the need to always voice my opinion?
Some of the wisest people in the world speak the least. They are secure enough in who they are that they don’t feel the need to prove their worthiness by expressing their opinion and knowledge at every given opportunity. Instead, they listen without judgment. Through their listening, they learn and gain wisdom. Practice being quiet, even when you feel the urge to let everyone hear your opinion. Of course, there are times when expressing your opinion is critical. Learn to discern the difference between speaking out of insecurity or a need for attention, and speaking out of authenticity and mutual benefit.
If you get control of your tongue, you can direct your entire life the way it is supposed to go. Begin speaking the truth of God’s Word, and you will see your life driven by the Word of God instead of the storms of life.
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