It's Only Words
"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver," and, "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."1
One of my favorite songs sung by the Bee Gees a number of years ago went something like this: "It's only words and words are all I have to take your heart away."
Words can be a force far beyond their weight, and can have an impact far beyond their immediate reach. With words we can make people laugh—or cry; respond positively—or negatively; draw people closer to us—or drive them away. With words we can inspire people to noble acts of kindness or, if we are so inclined, to evil deeds of wickedness. Compare the words of Martin Luther King with those of Hitler.
And while you and I will never be a King or a Hitler, our words can and do have a lasting impact, especially on our spouse and on our children—as well as on our friends, associates, and people in our circle of influence. I know of one mother who told her daughter that she wasn't wanted, and that child, now an adult, is still traumatized by that rejection. And speaking personally, I can still remember words of encouragement I received as a young man growing up—words that have stayed with me all of my adult life.
So never forget the impact your words can have on those you love the most and those who are closest to you—and even on strangers. Remember today's scripture verse: "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up," and that:
Words spoken may soon pass away
and forgotten be,
but when spoken in love and kindness
are like beautiful flowers,
and even though they fade and die
from conscious memory,
their fragrance lives on
embedded in the deeper mind–
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a sensitive spirit and help me to learn the art of speaking loving and kind words (eloquent or otherwise) to all those who cross my path and are in need of encouragement. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 12:25; 25:11 (NIV).
2. Dick Innes, "Words." See http://tinyurl.com/words-spoken.