Have you ever had one of those days? Things are going great, but then…. Someone says something or writes something to you that tries to steal your joy. Yep, that’s my day. All of the WONDERFUL parts of my day, filled with blessings too numerable to name, were tarnished by a-not-too-respectful correspondence.
I had a choice to make. Do I let it achieve its goal of bullying me into submission or do I shake it off (Yes, Taylor Swift’s song started playing in my head when I typed that. It’s how I’m wired.)? I read and reread. I pondered. I tried to move past it, but those condemning words kept repeating like I hit “loop” on YouTube.
Then, I had an epiphany! Or…God brought His words to my heart to change my perspective.
I was reminded that I should accept the words as they were intended. An opinion was expressed. The tone of the words let me know what heart that came from, and knowing that realization by mindset changed.
Instead of thinking hateful thoughts about the owner of the words, I prayed for the person. I prayed that peace, joy, and love would touch their heart by some means. I also prayed that when further interactions transpire that I would reflect a heart guided by His grace and mercy rather than tarnished by frustration and hurt feelings.
Then, as I finished my prayer and was prompted to write this, other words came to mind. The words of a child. Not just any child but a child who has struggled with some choices. Today, as the two of us worked, he shared how his favorite time of day is coming to school and his saddest part of the day is when he leaves. Then, he added, “The worst part is Friday when I have to leave for two days because I just really like being in your class.”
Words. Just words? I think not. Words are powerful things. I always hated this old cliche about words because it’s absolutely false.
Let’s be honest. Words hurt. But words also encourage. They inspire. They teach. They entertain. They make someone’s day. They challenge. They praise.
What do your words do? Do a heart & speech check because one affects the other. And….in the words of Cowboy Bob, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Or at least….think about how you can express your message a bit more respectfully.