Mind Your Tongue

Mind Your Tongue

 

The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

You may be thinking, great… another Bible reader, stuffing scripture down my throat.

Before you think that, I have a challenge for you… really look at what that is saying. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, give what these words are saying a little credit. Look at your own life and read those words carefully… “The tongue (our words) have the power of life and death.”

Maybe you think that’s dramatic but it’s not. Think about the last time you were angry at someone. Did you say things you regret, things you can NEVER take back? How did those words affect the recipient? Do you think he or she has forgotten what you’ve said or do you think those words pop back in their head throughout the day? Makes you wonder, huh? I hope I can help you think before you speak whether it be in a positive light or a negative darkness.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me. This is a lie. What we say matters. The unkind things we communicate can soil the best of relationships; even with the deepest of regrets… What lingers is a stain of hurt that may fade but will never truly go away. The wounding words we say are like feathers released in a harsh wind, once said; we will never get them back”

Jason Versey, A Walk with Prudence

When was the last time someone said something that hurt you? How did you feel? Words are something we can never take back. When something hurtful is said, the others’ reaction is to fight back, change the way they see you or even change the way they see themselves. It is SO important to realize the damage just a few simple words said out of anger can do. The impact our words have on people’s behaviors towards us and life in general needs to be taken into consideration. Words can bring people to depression, loneliness, anger, fear… you name it. They have a lasting impression on the people around you.

Magic Words

“Silly words cause trills because they’re ludicrous and funny

Happy words paint endless smiles and swallow troubles whole

Thoughtful words are thus because they make the day feel sunny

But hurtful words are such that pierce the heart and weight the soul”

Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyways

Since the last paragraph was somewhat depressing, let’s talk about the positive impact words can have. Look at the second part of that poem, “Happy words paint endless smiles and swallow troubles whole.” We build relationships by creating happy and interesting conversations with our words. People are attracted to optimistic and happy individuals because they make life fun. Without kind, loving, respectful, happy words, relationships would be hard to create. Think of the last time you told someone “I love you.” Ahh yes, all smiles over here. To know you are loved makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. What about a parent telling his or her child “I am proud of you.” Woah. Those words are empowering. The confidence builds and he or she is ready to conquer the world.

We can build people up or tear them down with our choice of words. My advice? Be on the lookout for people who are down on themselves. Give them a compliment and build them up. It can be something as simple as: “You are so smart!” “I love your heart.” “I really like the way you did your hair!” or even, “You are SO good at your job!” Those compliments can really brighten people’s day and change their view of themselves in a heartbeat.

The few examples I covered can’t even begin to scratch the surface of how impactful our words are in both negative and positive ways. I urge you to think before you speak, no matter what situation you’re in. Mind your tongue and think about other people and consider their feelings. Take a look at what that Proverbs verse has to say. It holds a lot of wisdom when it comes to how we carry ourselves and speak within this life.

By: Leigha Faivor, Business/Accounting Major, IUPUC

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