Glancing into my rear view mirror, it seems as though every car is too close now. The rear-end collision I was in just 72 hours ago, has done a number on my nerves while tolling around town. All too often, and most times unnecessarily, my heart rate goes up, and my stomach is in knots, as I seem to catch glances of cars that are about to hit me – Except, in reality – they are not anywhere CLOSE to hitting me.
I was thinking about that today – How amazing it is that my brain remembers that little rear-end collision. But it does. My brain DOES remember! My brain remembers physical trauma, so well that, the “threat threshold” has been lowered and I feel as if I am in danger, when in fact, I am not……
My brain remembers! And I have absolutely no control over that fear, and must believe that, in time, probably weeks from now, my heart will no longer be racing each time I see a car in the rear view mirror.
But the hurtful and discouraging words fired at me in anger by people who claim to care about me? It is likely they will still be affecting me 10 years from now, or 20, maybe more. Because, WORDS are MUCH more powerful than a fender bender, aren’t they?
No? Don’t think so? Then, stop reading right here, and think about it for a few minutes.
I can remember the last words spoken to me by a man who broke my heart 12 years ago. His name was Patrick, and I still haven’t recovered. In fact, I’ve really not even dated. Those words? More powerful than my rear-end collision, trust me!
The words exchanged in a heated argument with my son? Yeah, I’m still hurt. (But, I’ll bet he is too.)
I could go on, but I won’t. I bet you agree with me by now……
Matthew 12:34-35 says, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”
The truth is, we don’t think about how powerful we are when we open our mouths. We have the capability of building those around us UP, or tearing them to shreds.
I know what it feels like to get torn to shreds. It doesn’t take very many words.
But if a FEW words can tear someone to shreds, then just as FEW words can build them UP, right ?? Right ??
Imagine. Just for a minute. What IF………. What if we made a conscious effort to encourage everyone – I mean EVERYONE. There’s just no telling how much good we could do. (Stop laughing – I really think this is possible).
Send an encouraging text. “I’m proud of you. I’ll bet your parents are too!” Send a hand-written note, “Was just thinking about you today. You matter to me.” Tell the cashier in the check-out line, “You have such a pretty smile.”
What if …………. What if we encouraged our adult children, even when we don’t agree? We don’t ALWAYS have to agree, you know….
Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
My Pastor taught on this verse today, and we laughed as he said, “It does not say, ‘But encourage one another daily, unless you are crabby and didn’t get enough sleep, are in a bad mood, had a bad day, are clinically depressed, are hungry, or just don’t feel like it.”
It’s true! We are supposed to encourage each other DAILY! (You know, it has a tendency to rub off on others……. even onto US!)
So choose your words carefully, because THEY ARE POWERFUL! (AND, they expose the true state of your HEART, the Bible says!)
Now, please excuse me. I have some words I have to go say to my son…………..