The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. (Isaiah 50:4 NLV).
Have you ever been witness to the words parents speak over their children? You watch the life drain from the eyes of the child and the innate joy turn to defeat and sorrow, merely by the tone and the words spoken by their caregivers.
On the other hand, when a child is encouraged and the positive attributes are pointed out to him or her, they thrive and flourish; a perfect example of the creational word.
I was fortunate in life to have a close and abiding relationship with my father. Virgil was always quick to point out my talents and achievements and to brag endlessly about my virtues to anyone within earshot. As a small child, I relished every moment I had with this doting admirer. He made me feel like the most important person on Planet Earth, and I really believe to this day, that it was his positive and encouraging words that helped shape my self-esteem. I believe I am the woman I am at this juncture in life because of the edifying and uplifting words my father planted in my heart.
On those days of self-doubt, I can still hear him cheering me on with his particular brand of encouragement. “You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to do. There is nothing you can’t achieve, if you just believe in yourself.”
Coming from a man with barely an eighth grade education who struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder, learning disabilities and color blindness it’s a wonder he understood the importance of positive affirmation. Even with his short-comings, he became the best ‘tool and die’ man at his company and created many tools that are still in existence today. He had an uncanny ability to see what needed to be designed and even though he lacked the necessary education, he was able to create it. If he had known about patents, he’d have had plenty of them.
After leaving the tool and die company, my mother and he bought an old, white, three- story home, renovated it and made it into a nursing home facility for the elderly. Together they positively impacted the lives of many people over the years. Their specialized brand of management and care-giving- one of affirmative reinforcement and promotion- caused everyone around them to give their best. They looked for the good in everyone from employee to patient.
I witnessed their interaction with employees and saw the response given to them because of their choice of words.
It was here I learned the value of speaking creative words of life over those around me, and over my own endeavors. More than just “positive attitude” this practice is about choosing words that bring vitality to the hearer. It can be absolutely life-changing!
I remember a young lady named Linda whom Mom and Dad hired to be a nurse’s aide. She came into the interview with her head down and her clothes askew. Her lank, dark brown hair wasn’t particularly clean and it hung in strings down her back. She mumbled answers in a low and unintelligible monotone with no eye contact.
Most employers would have ended the interview early and sent someone like Linda away. But Mom and Dad knew her background. Herrin was a small town and they knew she came from a home with very little love and attention and virtually no positive reinforcement. They wanted to give her a chance- so they hired her right on the spot and set her to work with the top RN on the floor.
Every day they stopped her, greeted her and affirmed her on each chore she was given. Every week you could see the flower begin to unfold, and within three months, everyone was marveling at the obvious change in Linda.
Her dark brown hair was pinned neatly into a pretty chignon, her uniform pressed and clean. She spoke with a new voice and attitude and began to believe she had something to offer the world. With the help of my parents, she went back to school and obtained her RN license and over time, became the head nurse at Hampton Manor. What an amazing example of the creational power of our words.
How do we integrate this life-changing behavior into our own lives? It’s one thing to understand the power we have in our choice of words and quite another to implement this knowledge into our lives on a daily basis. I fail miserably in this area regularly, and I’m without excuse; I grew up with such a wonderful example.
How can we be part of a counter-culture that creates life? How can we live in such a way as to inspire those around us to speak life-giving words rather than destructive and useless ones?
I believe God gave us a blue print for the words we speak when he gave these thoughts to the writer of the book of Ephesians. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (4:29 NLT).
It’s all a matter of choice. We must think before we speak. It’s time to realize the awesome power we’ve been given to create change in our own lives and the lives of those within our immediate influence. Don’t you think it’s about time we took our words more seriously? What transformations we would behold if we all made a distinct effort to possess the power of our words.
- Tamra Nashman
- Florida, United States
- I'm a mother of two children, an inspirational and motivational Author and Minister. My greatest joy is to see people gain new insight and understanding about the amazing possibilities that life holds when we put put our faith to action. 'Shoes For The Spirit, is a book filled with real-life stories of people who have walked through great difficulty and have found the right pair of shoes for their personal journey. Whether or not you are a person of faith, there is something uplifting, guiding and compelling in this little book, for everyone. The accompanying CD, 'Songs For the Soul,' is a compliation of original orchestrated tunes, with voice-over verse layered on top of the music. This CD has great encouragement for all who take the time to listen. I hope all of you bloggers will read the new sequel to 'Shoes For The Spirit,' listed in the blog posts below, and if you're so inclined, will purchase my book and CD. You won't be sorry! Be blessed. Love, Tamra
- ▼ 2008 (11)