There is an old saying that I have loved for many years. I recognized it as something that was not only true, but also a wise reminder of the power of ones words. The saying is, "Sticks and stones may break our bones...but words will break our hearts." How very true. I have thought back to the many people who have come in and out of my life...even those who passed by for only a brief moment. Each one, unique in their gifts and different from each other. But still...every one of them had one common gift...the sword of their mouths. The power to defend, honor, lift and protect....or bruise, wound, or even slay. How wise is the reminder to "Think before you speak". I am first to admit that I am far from perfect in this...but lately I have put this virtue or rather truth to the test. Over the last few weeks I paid close attention to the things that I said to others, along with what others said to me, and how it made me feel. How easy it was for my spirits to be lifted by kind or gracious words. To feel a ray of sunshine by please and thank you's....or any other courteous or friendly remark. On the other hand, I also saw how easy it was to feel the sting of sharp words. How sarcasim dampens spirits and can so quickly diminish confidence and hope and damage the heart. Often our words can cause the smile of a friend or stranger to fade away. OR..."turn a frown upside down" and ignite the light of a weary traveler or empty soul. If you think back on your life....I bet there are many remarks that you will remember, both good and bad. They stay with us, they chang us, they shape us. Most of the time, we don't know how we affect others....we may never see it with our eyes. But we can rest assure that kindness always wins. It is a bright and shiney sword that can be used to bless and strengthen others. To keep it hidden is such a waste...and to use it to hurt or humiliate is a shame. "Out of the abundance of the heart...the mouth speaketh." (Luke 6:45) Our mouth speaks volumes about our hearts...I even believe it can reveal ALL things.
So, my thought for the week? Think....before you speak. Lift your sword for good and be a blessing to all who come in contact with you.