What if I told you I have the secret for creating healthier, happier relationships? Would you want to know the secret?
Of course you would.
You have more influence over your relationships than you probably realize. Why? Because your words have the power to create healthy, life-giving relationships or create dysfunctional, draining ones.
The Bible puts it this way, “The power of life and death are in the tongue.”
When God created, He used the spoken word: “God said ‘Let there be light, and there was light’. And it was good”.
Can you imagine your kids, spouse or friends saying ” _________(your name) said________ and it was good!”?
Our words create space for openness, for vulnerability, for truth, for encouragement, for acceptance, for understanding, for love.
Our words can also create dissention, hurt, discouragement, pain, misunderstanding, anger and isolation.
For better or worse, our words—your words—create.
Every word we speak is either creating life or creating death in a relationship.
It’s a sobering thought.
Sobering, because so often we speak without considering the consequences.
In a world where it’s fashionable to say everything and filter nothing, it’s time we wake up to the truth and live with a little more wisdom.
So, let me ask you a question I must ask myself: Are my words helping create the type of relationships I want? With my family? My co-workers? My friends?
If you’re committed to creating healthy, life-giving relationships practice these practical tips for the next week and see what happens:
- Say at least one encouraging thing to every friend, family member or co-worker you speak with today. (Toss in an encouraging word to a cashier or waiter. Just because.)
- Don’t name-call or label anyone today (not even things like “you’re a grump”, “those people are idiots”, etc.…).
- Practice the dying art of listening. Resist the temptation to interrupt or share your thoughts before fully listening to another. If you accidentally interrupt, apologize and keep listening.
Do these things for a week and watch a transformation begin. Communicate like this as a way of life and see if you don’t start creating the kind of relationships you’ve wanted all along.