Thankful for Kind Words
Saturday - November 14th
Day 14: Attitude of Gratitude
Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 4:29-32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Negative words dominate language. Studies have found half of all the words that people produce from their working vocabulary to express emotion are negative. Thirty percent are positive. Twenty percent are neutral.
Studies of 37 different languages turned up seven words with very similar meanings across all of those languages. They are joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame, and guilt. Seven words and only one is positive.
Words are important. Words have power. Proverbs 18:21 says it plainly: "The tongue has the power of life and death." Most of us can think of times when someone said something to us, and their words cut deeply into our innermost being. We also know the blessing and encouragement words can bring when they act as a healing salve to our deepest wounds.
Over the years, God has blessed me with notes, letters, emails, and social media posts from others that have lifted my spirits at just the right time. I have also been encouraged by the words of friends and family who have chosen to say kind things about and to me.
If you are anything like me, you know the difference a kind word can make in your day. Of course, most of us could receive one hundred words of affirmation and one complaint or criticism, and we hold onto and ruminate over that one critical comment. That seems to be human nature. We not only speak more negative words, but we hear and harbor more negative words from others.
Ephesians 4:29 says that we should "not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths." The verse goes on to explain that our words should be "helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Our hearts long for words of affirmation when life overwhelms us. Think about it. If our hearts long to hear an encouraging word, those around us long to hear kind things said to them too.
Thank God for any encouragement you receive today. Go out of your way to say a kind word to others!