Things my parents used to say were,
“I’ll turn this car around MR!”
“If you sit too close to the TV your eyes will go square”
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
Other than being stereotypical parents these are some of the things that have stuck with me. However, the more I think, the more I realise they were silly things to say. They would never turn the car around; mostly because we were going places they wanted to go. My eyes never went square and of course, money doesn’t grow on trees.
Here are some more things that have stuck with me:
Mum, “I love you so much”
Dad, “I’m so proud of you”
There’s a huge difference between these two sets of statements, but how weird that they have both stuck with me.
I consider myself blessed to have heard the second set of things many times from my parents. If you’ve never heard this please know that our heavenly father loves everyone, including you!
1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Words are a really import gift we’ve been given. We don’t know how our words might affect those around us. We shouldn’t abuse them. Our words have the power to build people up or cut people down. Your words can bring life, or take life away. Words are powerful!
Proverbs 15: 1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.”
Proverbs 11:17 “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.”
Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
There are many examples in the bible where Jesus shows us what it looks like to be kind, but one story that comes to mind is Zacchaeus the tax collector. The bible only shows us that Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’s house, Zacchaeus was excited and the people were displeased. Funnily enough, the bible isn’t specific about what’s actually said over lunch. However, whatever was said had such an impact that it changed Zacchaeus’ life.
I’d love to know what they talked about. I’d love to know what Jesus said. Jesus was genuinely interested in Zacchaeus. He wanted to share his time with him, something that would have been rare for Zacchaeus. I’m sure there’s a direct link between what was said over lunch and Zacchaeus’s complete life transformation. Call it speculation but I’m sure Jesus spoke as he usually did, with wisdom, truth and kindness and I’m guessing that these words stuck in Zacchaeus’s mind.
Kindness can go a long way. Have you ever paid someone a compliment for no reason? The effect can be really funny. Some people don’t know how to receive it. For some people, it can change their day. Others might just smile, but it usually brings a positive reaction. (Funny that…)
So often I find myself only complimenting people after they have achieved something or if they have praised me for something. But why do I need a reason to build someone up. Can’t I just do it to reflect something of who Jesus is?
Words are powerful and as I have found from my parents, WORDS STICK! So with that in mind, my new goal and maybe it could be yours too, is to build up others through the use of kind words.
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”