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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April Fools?

This morning my oldest shared a devotion she'd read earlier today. Nothing new about that. But God used it to spark an idea worth sharing.

First, the devotion talked about a brother and sister telling each other good news things like, "You made the band solo!" And then saying, "April Fools."

My daughter thought that was funny.

I did not.

Why? Because words have power. Paired with hope and encouragement, words can strengthen our souls and brighten our days. But paired with expectations and then used to deflate, words do more than sting. They cut.

Think back to middle school. High school. Remember any words that stuck like glue even when the silly rhyme said they didn't? (I’m rubber, you’re glue. It bounces off me and sticks to you.)

I do.

Words like fatso and four-eyes.

Even as an adult, especially as a writer, words can cut like a sword. I remember one reviewer, a librarian, who not only used words carelessly, she must not have considered their venom at all.

She said in a nutshell that my books were reminiscent of Karen Kingsbury, only, "Karen's books have much more genuine emotion and are much better written."


I've heard from teachers, writers, and folks from many walks of life how someone's careless words wounded them.

Words that take a person's dreams and stomp on them are words that should never be said.

Now before you think I'm saying we should all talk like Pollyanna, I'm not. I've had reviewers and also close friends who have pointed out places where I was weak and yet their words didn't wound... they helped me grow.

Those words, though sometimes hard to hear, are worth speaking. They might sting, but they also show love and care. They can help us and lead to healing.

All that to say, let's not be fooled today or any day. Words matter.

Choose them wisely.

1 comment:

Sande said...

Another relevant season He is sharpening for me, not only my words though but my "response" to words that are either less than gracious or obliviously touch a unhealed, tender spot in my heart.


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