Three ways you can be better at life this week
"If you want to change the life that you have, you must change the words that you speak.”
– Craig Groeschel
What if you could have a better week, just by changing the way that you speak? It’s not exactly an easy trade to make, but if you succeeded at it, it’s definitely one you won’t regret.
In Ephesians 4:29, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up that it may benefit those who listen.”
It comes down to this: Do your words hurt or help those around you?
Our words matter. If you find yourself surrounded by people who are negative and critical all the time, then it may be time to take a hard look at your own words.
In his message, Trading Up: Tearing Down for Building Up, Rev. Paul Rasmussen shared three rules about words that, if we followed, would change our life for the better.
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it.
Your mom was right! If what you’re about to say is not helpful or is going to beat someone down, then skip it. Don’t say it.
In other words, if you can't say something nice, don't say it.
This one truth has the power to save marriages, restore relationships, and fundamentally change the way you relate to people. You don't even have to compliment the other person; you just have to commit to not beating them down with your words.
Don't let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. Give this rule a try and watch how the people around you react to it. If you want to break the cycle, it has to start here.
If you see something, say something.
New York City came up with this campaign after the attacks on September 11th to combat terrorism. If you see something, say something. They were on to this truth: Your observations mean nothing unless you give them life by telling someone. If you see something suspicious, say it. It doesn't do any good if we don't know it.
The same is true with our words. If you see something complimentary, say it. Text it, write it, whisper it, yell it, it doesn’t matter, just say it. Somebody did something great, you tell them. Somebody makes you feel a certain way and it's really positive, you tell them. They're creative and you admire that for years, you tell them.
Don't hoard blessings. Your thoughts and observations mean nothing unless you say them.
Proverbs 16:24, "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Notice it doesn’t say gracious thoughts or gracious observations. You have the power to give life to your words, but they mean nothing unless you say them. Tell people when you see something good.
Talk to yourself.
This final rule may seem strange, but it’s one of the most important. Whether you realize it or not, you talk to yourself all the time. But how often are the words you use hurtful instead of helpful?
If you want to have a better life, you have to stop contaminating your own mind with unwholesome talk and start encouraging yourself instead. Your "I can’t do this” becomes “I can do this. I've worked hard on this. I've prepared. God has blessed me."
You have to encourage yourself. You have to tell yourself, my God has not forsaken me. I am an overcomer. If God is for me, then who is against me? My God has forgiven me. My God loves me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Your words have the power to give life, including for yourself. Begin to replace the unwholesome talk for encouragement and watch how quickly your life changes for the better!
Our words matter. This world is too full of people who are negative and cynical. There are too many people ready to discourage others and bring everyone around them down. If you want to change the life that you have, you have to start by changing the words you speak.
Here's what will happen when you do: You will surround yourself with people who are doing the very same thing. Life gives back in kind. If you start speaking words of affirmation, you will be surrounded by people that want to affirm you.
Want to be better at life this week? Start by examining how you speak. Make sure your words towards others are helpful and kind. And don’t just think encouraging thoughts about others, actually make it a point to tell them! And finally, make sure you don’t beat yourself up either, but rather trade in unwholesome thoughts for encouraging ones.