At the supermarket the other day I found myself in line behind a father and son. The child was misbehaving, but not anything out of the ordinary for a typical 3 or 4 year old. The father was trying to get his son to behave but in the process was yelling out profanities. The father used statements like “you useless…brat, you do nothing but mess up, you’re a waste of time, why did I bother having you, you’re a stupid…” Clearly I am not using the exact, harsh words to describe it but you can imagine.
I watched this 3 or 4 year old take all that was being said and then continue behaving accordingly. These are formative years for a child that will have such a great impact on him and his future. Trying to recreate a new belief system is a painful and challenging ordeal. I have discovered that if you give a title to somebody they will live up to that in their actions, attitudes and beliefs. This then creates issues like insecurity, poor self-image and lack of confidence. Words are so powerful.
Words all have incredible power whether they are written, spoken, shown in action or even unspoken. Power to build up and tear down. Words shape us. They are the framework that we base our values on and result in who we are today. Words form who we become. I have watched people come to life through words of encouragement or simply truth. In the same way I have watched words cut people deeply and destroy lives and futures. Proverbs 10:21 says that the“lips of the righteous flourish many.” We have the incredible privilege of drawing the best out of people with our words, or we can use them to destroy and tear people down.
You and I are agents of change. We can literally create life or death with our words. In our families, schools, work places, down the street at the shops, anywhere our lives encounter people. Choose carefully what you say and see the futures you can help shape. Proverbs 18:21 says the “power of life & death are in the tongue.” We have the ability to create life with our words. So as Hebrews 3:13 says let’s,“encourage one another today, while it is still today.”