Some days seem to take on a theme with the kids. One central idea or concept starts to be present in each of their lives.
Today it was the power of words.
In 3 different situations, I had 3 different children that had been hurt by words others were saying.
Friends calling them names. Friends saying they didn’t want to be friends. Put-downs. Insults. Parents who said hurtful things. Teachers who had made flippant remarks.
I felt compassion for these kids, but also conviction in my own heart. I thought about all the words I say during the day. I put people down, but call it joking. I am brutally honest at times, but say it is constructive criticism. I say negative, discouraging things and disguise them at “venting.”
Did you know that you need to say 7 positive things to make up for one negative thing?
Words hurt. We need to remember they also can heal.
I did an exercise with the last boy I had of the day. He had been getting teased a lot. I had him pick out the 3 worst things and the 3 best things people have said to him recently.
We worked on having him repeat one of the good things every time he heard a negative.
I also picked out positive things to tell him, and had two of his peers do the same.
At the start of our time the student kept saying, ” I am so stupid and ugly.” He was buying the lie.
By the end he said. ” I am generous. I am loving. I am a good friend.” He had the hugest smile on his face.
I saw his sadness and worry, turn into happiness and excitement, after just a few kind words.
I am saying this just as much to myself as all y’all, but it’s time we start watching our words. We need to be building up our brothers and sisters in Christ, not tearing them down.
I am going to do an experiment tomorrow. Every time I want to say something negative to someone or about them, I am going to replace it with something positive. I have no idea what tomorrow holds, so this may prove difficult, but I am going to try.
Let’s use the power of words for the greater Good.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may givegrace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32
On a slightly unrelated note, tomorrow is prayerwalk #3. Prayers are appreciated.(7:30-8AM)