A Kind Word Goes a Long Way
I'm a words girl, not a numbers girl. My husband is the numbers guy. He's the one with the budgeting spreadsheets and the mental calculator in his head. I, on the other hand, basically bring a lot of adjectives to the table. Beautiful, splendid, magniferous, wonderiffic words.
The thing I love most about words is their power. I guess it's the thing I fear most about words, too. They have power to shape the mind, inspire the soul, and motivate the body to action.
Words also have the power to destroy, deflate, and discourage. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." But I don't want to talk about their negative impact. Maybe another time. Today, I want to talk about the power of a kind word.
Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."
When you say something nice, it's like giving someone this:
I don't know about you, but when someone gives me a compliment, thanks me, or says something nice, I can literally feel the endorphins flood my system. I flush, smile, and then I feel like sharing kind words with someone else so they can feel good, too.
Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed all grumpy? Or maybe you're just discouraged. It's amazing how quickly you snap out of it when you say something nice to someone else.
Paul told the Colossians, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt" (4:5) Isn't that a great mental picture? Imagine walking around all day sprinkling the soul-saving salt of God's love with each word that falls from your lips. Imagine every word you say being part of your testimony.
To me, that's powerful.
Proverbs 15:1 says, "a soft answer turneth away wrath." There are times when I'm talking with someone, and we aren't agreeing, and I can sense that the conversation is escalating, and we're both simmering in anger, ready to boil over. It's amazing how quickly a gentle word can diffuse an ungodly spark.
Solomon said, "the tongue of the wise is health" (Pr. 12:18). Wow! Do you have any diseased relationships that could use some healing? Is there someone out there who is spiritually sick? Salty words have the power to restore spiritual health.
Speaking of restoration, I also think that kind words aren't all rainbows and unicorns and skittles.
Is it possible for kind, loving words to not feel kind and loving? I think so. Proverbs also says, "faithful are the wounds of a friend" (27:6). I have a responsibility to hold my brothers and sisters in Christ accountable to the word of God, and I want them to do the same for me. If I have a problem, I need the saints to give me the words of life (or the wounds of love, as Rich Mullins calls them). That means I may hear things that make me uncomfortable, but it's for my own good, to restore me.
I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to confrontation, so I pray that God gives me the salted, grace-filled, love-drenched words that cut in just the right places (Heb. 4:12) so that He can use them to restore a brother or sister to His path.
The Lord knows full well the power of words.
When Jesus rose and went to be with the Father, what did he leave us? His Spirit and His word, the scripture. In the restored gospel, we enjoy the privilege of knowing both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. And we crave the words that are yet to come, which reconfirm the same marvelous message that Jesus is Lord.
Till then, I'm asking God to fill me with kind words and give me the discernment to speak them wisely.