“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Sound familiar?! I think this phrase may have been on a continual loop in my house growing up…especially over summer break! You, too?!
My sister and I are two years apart. (I’m younger, by the way. Just wanted to be clear about that.) Here’s a fun little ditty from our youth. (I’m Miss America with the goofy grin and crown, of course; my sister, Kristin, is the gorgeous ballerina princess!)):
Now, this age difference was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because we were developmentally close enough to play together and entertain one another growing up. It was a beautiful thing! But sometimes, we were ALSO mentally similar enough to cause some chaos with our words to one another if we so desired.
(Just so you know, we no longer say mean things to each other. We’re actually quite kind and loving and have been for years. So, for those of you wondering if your kids will EVER get along, hang in there. It’s just a phase 😉 , I promise!)
But, man. It isn’t just siblings that use words as weapons against one another, right? We, even as adults who know better, are capable of hurtling word daggers at anyone, given the right circumstances and atmosphere. And contrary to that old adage about “sticks and stones”, words can cause significant harm to the spirit of another when we aren’t mindful to use them kindly.
I love how James just tells it like it is, don’t you? But I also sit in a little bit of shock as James schools us on the fact that, not only can our venomous words cause a firestorm, THEY WILL THEN TAKE US UP IN SMOKE RIGHT ALONGSIDE THEM.
In other words, we take ourselves down the same number of notches we are attempting to take another person down.
Every time we use words as weapons, our own demise is tied to (and equal to) the demise we try to inflict on someone else.
Like most other Americans, I’m bracing myself for the fall 2016 campaign season, especially as it relates to the presidential race. Regardless of which candidate you favor (if any…), I think we can all agree on this: we will see some fiery words, accusations, and rhetoric fly. I pray those bluntly wise words from James somehow manage to knit themselves into the hearts and spirits of all associated with the campaigns; join me in that pray?
Now, as much as James totally nails it with his truth on negative words, I’ll leave you today with a sweeter taste about the importance of what we say from the writer of Proverbs:
(copyright French Press Mornings)
Let’s all be mindful this week of the importance of how we speak to one another. Let’s choose to be encouragers and not critics. Let’s speak kindly, not only to others, but also to ourselves.
This week’s easy 2016 tips (click the link and you can print your own copies of everything listed below):
- Find and display your own copy of this week’s note to self! Read it over each time you see it; talk about with your kids, your spouse, and your pals!
- Getting a little hectic at mealtimes right now? Pull out our list of mealtime conversation starters and get everyone talking about GOOD things!
- Looking for a meal to serve while you’re talking kindly? Check out this week’s delish meal suggestion and recipe !
- Want a song to liven up your easy summer days? Click here to listen/watch this week’s song suggestion, “Press On” by Building 429!
See you here back next week when we talk about the importance of staying hydrated… it’s easy 😉 !
Peace, love, and JOY!