Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.  Proverbs 15:4 The Message

A young woman confessed to an older man that she had a problem saying too much about people. He told her to go buy a bird and pluck out its feathers one by one as penance for her sin. When she returned and told the man that she had followed his instructions, he said, “Now go back the way you came and pick up all the feathers.” “I can’t do that,” said the girl. “The wind has blown them in all directions.” “That is true,” said the wise man. “Neither can you recall the words that you have spoken.” Squeeze a tube of toothpaste and then try to put the toothpaste back in, and then you will have a picture of how impossible it is to take back something once you’ve said it.

            So here are some suggestions: Think before you speak. Always be sincere when giving encouraging words. Be a kind person. (Your words won’t go far if your actions don’t back them up.) Offer encouragement, not advice. They are not the same thing. And think about this: be your own best encourager. If, as the verse says, cutting words wound and maim, you are crippling yourself when you express self-hatred. Give yourself time, space, and grace. When you feel discouraged, hand that discouragement over to God. Ask Him to help you. Stop wounding and maiming yourself and others.

Words cannot be recaptured once they’ve escaped our lips. Fortunately, the same goes for kind words, too. Mother Theresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

*Are there some things that you have said that you wish you hadn’t? Why not call and tell the person that?

* What are the sentences that you tend to repeat to yourself that dishearten you? Pay attention and decide you will not say those things. Stop yourself. Pick a new, encouraging phrase to replace it.

Father, I take refuge in You alone and submit my struggle to you. I resist the accusations of Satan that say I don’t matter, and that other people don’t care.

I reject the lie of rejection that demeans my personal value and sometimes colors my attitude towards others. I affirm that Your love for me is unconditional and unchanging. Help me to receive Your love each day and begin to immerse my life in an atmosphere of grace, beginning with my mind, and continuing with the words that come out of my mouth. Thank You for your help and love! In the loving name of Jesus I ask these things, Amen.

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