It’s amazing the impact that this collection of letters put together on a page can have on a person, not just in the moment, but long term. You remember that love letter you got from your crush way back when; you practically had it memorized word for word. That tense phone conversation that you relayed to your girlfriends later as you collectively tried to figure out what hidden meanings were in each word said and each word not said. You remember when someone called you a name your mama didn’t give you? Words.
You know how they say the internet never forgets? It’s a warning to be careful what you put out there because you can’t take it back. Words are much the same in their immortality. The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. still inspire millions today. Every week, countless multitudes gather to read and study the Word of God. Words remain long after their speaker/writer is gone.
With this in mind, think about each word that comes out of you. In the Bible, God said that His Word would not return to Him void, meaning what He said would come to pass. According to Christianity, He created the world by His Word. And if we are created in His image (and I believe that we are), it would be reasonable to believe that we too have the power to shape our reality by the words we speak. Our words do not return to us void. I view our words as seeds planted. When I speak to you, I plant a seed in you that will grow and eventually produce fruit. What kind of a fruit is produced will depend on what kind of seed I planted.
Think of the fertile, soft ground that is young children. When you speak positivity and love, you plant a seed that will grow into a fruit of confidence, strength, happiness, and love for self and others. But imagine speaking negativity, harsh criticism and hateful, angry words to your child. It might grow into anger, resentment, acting out and rebellious behavior. But my worst nightmare is a child not letting it out…when that seed remains buried in a child’s psyche, festering like an open infected wound left untreated. The seed of constant anger and criticism will lead to a fruit of hate and anger…but who is this hate and anger directed at? You, the parent? You’ve seen the adoration in that baby’s eyes and the way they light up when they see you! You’re their hero! So if they can’t direct that hate toward you, where do you think it goes?
They start to hate themselves. Second guess themselves. Look down on themselves. Accept rotten treatment from peers and relationships because they hate themselves; because the seed you planted turned into a hate fruit.
Be careful what seed you plant in your children. It will grow into a fruit one day. Measure each word and cover it with love before it escapes your lips.