Can WORDS change a relationship?
YES, they sure can! Words have the power to change everything, for the better or the worse! Every word that comes out of your mouth will reveal your heart in one way or another. In every interaction we have there is either a building up or a tearing down of relationship
I remember one time I had a very difficult day at work and when I arrived home I was met by my son who was full of energy and wanting to play. I was in no mood to do anything and as he persisted, I turned around and yelled, “Just leave me alone!” Instantly, I wish I could have caught every word and stuffed them right back into my mouth. However, the damage was done and there was no mean words spoken back, no matching my temper tantrum. It was much worse than that, his eyes filled with huge tears and his head dropped as he walked away. As I write this I am tearing up from this memory. What a day that was for me as a father.
My words had destroyed a days worth of anticipation, a thousand stares out the window, waiting anxiously for me. I was going to be the most important part of his day. Had it stopped there, I would have shaped our relationship negatively for all of the days to come. You see as a child I had learned not to anticipate, and not to look out the window because my dad may not be coming as he was so busy. Remembering those feelings as a boy I right away picked up my son and asked his forgiveness. I explained that I had a very difficult day but also that he was more important than any bad day or even the best ones. In that moment I was able to define and redefine our relationship. My words tore down our relationship in an instant and by using words again I was able to build it right back up. Which one do you think he remembered?
We all make mistakes and we all have bad days saying things we don’t mean. However, do we ever go back and reverse the words to rebuild what we tore down? Perhaps we are too embarrassed or feel awkward. Maybe we just assume everything is okay and all is forgiven and forgotten. I want you to realize the impact in the words we speak and it’s not good enough to just leave things unspoken. Words carry within them the power of life and death. Our very belief system is shaped by the words that we have heard in our lives. If you ever have had words spoken to you that devalue you (which I’m sure we all have) it will be very hard to believe you have value.
If you don’t believe that you have value you cannot see the value in others. Choose to be an encourager. Make a decision to use your words to encourage others, not to discourage them.
Ask yourself these 2 important questions:
1. Do I see Value in myself? I’m not talking about pride or ego but real value. Have an honest look at yourself and find the areas you feel you have value. This can be intimidating and awkward, so maybe ask someone close to you to share with you what they see in you that is valuable. This is a powerful exercise that can help you with your own self-talk. It’s too easy for us to see the negative and so our self-talk tears us down.
2. Do I see the Value in others? Isn’t it is so easy to see the negative in others especially when there is a personality clash. If you can see beyond the surface of someone’s actions and see their value, your words will be positive. Our attitudes often reveal something that is going on in the heart, so when you encounter someone’s bad attitude rather than react, try and see what may be going on in their heart. Then use words to encourage them and turn it around.
I urge you this week to practice using encouraging words to build people up and see what happens. Find at least one person and give it a try and then let me know how it impacted that person by commenting below.
Until next time remember, ‘Relationship Matters!’