When I used to teach school, I made kids write the truth as their punishment often. For example, when I busted Meg for lying, I had her write-
“I am an honest person and I will act like it.”
TWO HUNDRED TIMES. Tough, I know. But I promise, it only took her one day to get it done. It goes faster when you write “I I I I I I” all the way down the page and then “am am am am am am”, etc. The little jokers figure THAT out pretty early on in the punishment process.
None the less, I always made the kids do things like that because I believe in the power of life-giving words.
I believe that if you tell someone enough that they are honest, they will start acting like it. I believe that if you speak into someone’s worth enough, they start to feel worthy. I believe that if you see a trait in someone and call attention to it, it grows like a weed. A beautiful weed with a flower on top.
Unfortunately, I also believe that if you say someone is weak over and over, they start to lose strength. If you call someone ugly enough times, they quit looking in a mirror. And if you find a weakness and poke at it, it becomes irritated and red and puffy and is now on display for all to see. And it hurts.
I talk a lot. I share my feelings pretty openly and sometimes am borderline “too much”. 🙂 It’s okay. I’ve grown up with me, I know. But it’s kinda one of my passions- I don’t want anyone around me questioning my heart for them or not hearing truth in love from me. I think if I was to take the 5 Love Languages test, words of affirmation would EASILY be numero uno.
[I want to make a “physical touch” joke here, but I think it would kill the serious vibe. You might lose your focus. But… it would have been a doozie. And you would have laughed.]
So saying words of affirmation to people comes natural to me. [And sometimes it may make other people feel weird, I don’t know.] It doesn’t have to be your primary love language. I have friends that love me well and don’t say it every day. And that is fine. But no matter your natural inclination, I think we are all called, in moments, to be the one who says, “Yes that IS who you are” and “You are SO much better than that” and “You are loved” or “because the Bible says you are worthy, YOU ARE WORTHY.”
I’ve been on the giving and receiving end this week. Words like these spoken to me, “that is NOT true about you, HERE is the truth….” radiated deep into my soul and placed salve over a seriously exposed heart wound. And I was reminded again to take EVERY chance I get to speak life and speak truth. To take God’s words and put them in the ears of someone else. Deposit good words into the heart accounts of those I love.
We live in a society permeated with lies and liars. Those of us willing to speak love need to stand on the mountain tops and use a megaphone. Or sit across a table and speak truth until it is almost uncomfortable. Or send an email or make a phone call.
You are God’s mouthpiece to the people around you.