My mother-in-law was a big believer in the power of words. She felt that if people constantly talk about being sick, they will convince themselves they are sick. If they constantly talk about being weak, or scared or worried, they will talk themselves into being just that. Conversely, if people talk about being happy, powerful and healthy, they will be if they talk like they are. I have found her words to ring true time and time again. I see this in so many people I have contact with on a daily basis. People who whine and complain always have troubles, but the funny thing is, they may not have any more trouble than anyone else; they just talk about it more and build it up in their mind and always seem to have something to complain about.
The Bible talks about the power of the tongue. It is such a small piece of the body, yet it is the hardest thing to control. The tongue has the power to encourage and lift up, or to cut, wound and tear down. The decision to be a blessing to someone or a curse to them is made every time we open our mouths. Sometimes, when anger or frustration get the best of us, we feel justified cutting people down and making them feel bad. But think about that; what ultimate good does it do to purposely make a person feel bad about themselves. And worse yet…we often do this to ourselves. We constantly talk to ourselves throughout the day. While most people are unwilling to sing their own praises, either to themselves or out loud, these same people have no problem criticizing or cursing themselves. We don’t like the way we look, don’t like our hair, are not smart enough, skilled enough, talented enough, our kids aren’t perfect enough, our grass isn’t as green as someone else’s and the list goes on and on. I repeat; what ultimate good does it do to purposely make yourself feel bad? It’s enough that others are more than happy to knock you down, you don’t need to help by knocking yourself down too. Rather than talking about all of the bad things, why not talk about all of the good things? Both originate in our own minds, why not choose to focus on the good rather than the bad?
One of the most enduring lessons I learned from my dad was that silence is OK. When I was growing up, my dad did not waste words. He only said what needed to be said, and more importantly, he never said what didn’t need to be said. My dad understood the principle of blessing and cursing with words. He knew that sometimes the best thing we could say was nothing at all and he followed that principle with himself as well. Like the vast majority of his generation, he worked, provided for his family and endured whatever came his way without fussing or complaining. He focused on what he had, not what he didn’t, and I can honestly say that I have never heard him complain about anything…except maybe me. J So learn from the lessons of some old-timers; speak blessings abundantly, both to others and yourself and sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.