The Power of Words
Last week I turned over my calendar to a new month. At the top of my March page was this quote:
Kind words are jewels that live in the heart and remain as blessed memories years after they have been spoken. M. Johnson
This sentiment has started me thinking about kindness and especially kind words. In these days, we are surrounded by words and interactions that are often crass, curt or cruel. Many in our society have noticed and bemoan our lack of civility. However, the cultural shift has caused us to lose something more than civility; and my calendar quote really nails the problem.
Language is a gift from God to the children He created in His image. It was intended as a unique blessing for the purpose of forming our soul and shaping our relationships, both horizontally and vertically. However, superficial tweets and shorthand responses leave the deep parts of a soul untouched while harsh and profane words do not shape a soul, but gash and tear at it.
Don’t we, as mankind always has, yearn for a life abundant with kind words and good memories of pleasant times? Of course we do. It is not only what we long for; it is what we were created for.
Like every other thing that this old world needs, the improvements we wish for must begin with us. We must consciously re-wire our thinking and master our tongue (James 3) to be kind first and kind always, even when sharing something that is difficult.
The place to start this change is with those closest to us. The individuals and personalities that make up our family—good, bad or indifferent—have been placed in our life by God. We exercise great influence on them even when it doesn’t seem so. Our words to them have great power to bless or degrade, especially in the daily grind of life. (As I write these words, I am acutely aware of the three fingers pointing back at me.)
I close with a few maxims on the subject of kindness that I like. Hopefully, there are some jewels among them that will bless you.
Kindness is a supernaturally generous orientation of the heart toward those around us.
Kindness is in our power even when fondness isn’t.
Kindness is how love behaves itself.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances. (Proverbs 25:11)