Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How do you Speak?

I subscribe to a daily Bible verse through my school mail (main@aBibleVerse.org). There are some days as a result of time, or lack thereof I don’t always get to read it, or I gloss over it quickly to appease myself that one more ‘thing’ is checked off my To-Do list.


Hold that thought for a moment and let me put in the picture for you although my husband does all the grocery shopping and most household tasks, I don’t place on him the added responsibility of selecting my make-up or other such toiletry items; I begrudgingly save all my errands to achieve at one time and preferably early in the morning. Though truthfully, my idea of shopping is to get on-line, place an order and have it delivered to my door, however this time I had to step foot in stores UGH; I despise shopping! (Read here).

So on Sunday, I meandered casually through Target focused on placing a strike-through with my sparkly pink pen priding myself in fulfilling accomplishments on the document. I turned the corner with my cart and halted before I rammed into a young teenage girl and her father seeking an item of necessity, chattering and wondering aloud the place it might be located. I swiftly offered a smile and apologized to the pair when a woman approached the duo with the ruthless expressions, ‘I told you two that it was in aisle 5. Can’t you do anything right? You’re just so stupid!’

My heart broke for the victims as she whisked off toward her destination. The words were offensive to MY ears so I couldn’t envision how the sufferers felt. I presumed it hadn’t been the first time they were her intended sufferers.

While I didn’t dwell on the incident, I did reflect on it frequently throughout my day with sadness and melancholy speculating on the long-term effects those thorns had on their being; what cuts, scratches and scars would persist?

So imagine my surprise the subsequent day upon opening the Verse of the Day to find the following words from Ephesians 4:29-

Do not use harmful words in talking. Use only helpful
words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so
that what you say will do good to those who hear you.

I pray I bear in mind this expression with each and every encounter I have moment to moment, and in the meantime, I certainly hope this verse finds its way to her door.



34 comments:

Mildred said...

A very good reminder of how important it is to choose our words wisely. Thanks Tracy.

Mamma has spoken said...

Good words to live by both personally and professionally.

Julie Musil said...

Very well said. I think of that verse when I'm speaking to my children. My husband and I encountered an extremely angry mother with her child one day, and I still can't let that experience go.

Arkansas Patti said...

People just don't realize the power of their words. Sadly, that teen may someday speak to her child that same way.

texwisgirl said...

Hmmm. What a "real world view" you had of that one. Sad.

Ginny said...

Oh, aren't these passing by encounters just awful and so sorrowful? I had a Target experience even worse!! A little girl maybe five years old, and the woman pushing her in the cart. The whole time the woman was screaming that the little girl was wicked and she would leave her all alone and she didn't know why she ever wasted her time on her. The child was crying uncontrabally. I wanted to whisk that child up in my arms and take her so far away. I cried that day, some people just do not realize the effect they have.

The Words Crafter said...

Good point. Unfortunately, one of the best ways to study human nature is to go to a public place like that and just observe. It's amazing how parents talk to children....and how children talk to their parents!

Heather said...

Great post. I agree, first of all, how sad that someone would speak like that to her family.

I think i will print out those words, and keep them on my desk, a great reminder for us....use only helpful words....to build rather than crumble. (great words for us parents!)
glad you like the new header on my blog! :)
xxoo

Julie Harward said...

It breaks my hear to see children especially be verbally abused. Parents that do this cripple the child, sometimes for life!

KathyA said...

I think that's so sad. "Sticks and stones" is wrong as names do hurt and hurt deeply. The child, even though a teenager, was helpless in this, however the adult had a voice and chose not to use it and in his doing so enabled the abuser.

Glenda said...

Thanks for reminding us that words are so powerful - and once spoken can't be taken back!

Patty Ann said...

Love that verse! And as someone who has had more than their share of sticks and stones as well as words, I can totally promise that (in most cases) the words do far more lasting damage. I am so sorry that people can't just be a little more kind to each other. A little more like Him.

Pat Tillett said...

Great words to live by!
Words really do hurt and they are used as weapons agains family members...
Nice post!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Words that are harmful cannot be taken back... I used to do the Children's Sermons at our church.. One good one was to take a tube of toothpaste and show the children that when you squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube, you cannot put it back in... It's the same thing when something ugly comes out of your mouth.. You can't take it back.... Words can HURT.

Great post, Tracy.
Hugs,
Betsy

Wanda's Wings said...

Words can bring life or death so we must be careful how we use them. Great post!

Jules said...

Excellent post Tracy. It seems many have forgotten our tongue is truly a lethal weapon.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

"Professor" M. said...

It is so sad the things you can hear when shopping...a sad testimonial to our truly human imperfections. Keen observation on your part!

And I hate shopping, too. I am so glad someone else out there feels the same way! You may have just inspired a blog post!

Out on the prairie said...

It is sad she has thrown her family away, something I would love to have to take shopping whenever I needed to go.I still pass the kids stuff thinking which of my kids would have liked something that caught my eye.Hopefully this was a stressed day and not forever.

Simple Southern Happiness said...

Thank you for posting this, I have needed that scripture for some time. I was raised in with verbal abuse and finally after 50+some-odd years I had to cut off all communications not long ago. Being raised in a Christian home, passages were taken from the bible out of context in order to make what they were saying or doing right... well right I gather their eyes. I took all I could in the name of Jesus.

I am now trying to find passages in the bible so I can meditate on God's and counteract all the years of abuse.

For the longest time I turned away from the faith, I could not imagine the word of God allowing a parent to abuse my brother and I in the name of the lord. I did however find my way back to the lord and now am building up a relationship with the lord and asking him to change this parent's heart and mind and to let them know what harmful words can do.

I get very miffed when I see or hear something like what you came across and want to ask them what they hope to accomplish? Later on in life that child may want not to live thinking they are useless. I feel this is why some young adults take their own life.

Verbal abuse....

Talli Roland said...

What a great reminder - thank you.

Carol Riggs said...

Ugh, unfortunately, people tend to speak harshly the most to their family--the very people whom they should be cherishing...or even whom they want to be cherishing, but grouchy and demeaning habits in conversation get in the way. Good reminder to treat our loved ones with respect.

Simple Southern Happiness said...

Email me and I have some info that may help. Its helped me but I keep wanting to gather more. My prayers are with you and so are my ears.

LV said...

It is such a shame there are way too many people in this world like one. I find if you cannot say something good or do good, tehn just stay home and keep your mouth shut.

Mari said...

Tracy - thanks for stopping at my blog.
This is a great post. It makes me so sad for those who had to hear the words, but also for the woman speaking them. I hope the words of that verse find their way to her too.
PS - I think it's great your hubby does the shopping and household tasks. What a guy!

Ann Nichols said...

Absolutely correct!! How words can hurt and hurt and hurt...and keep on hurting long after... They are so sharp in anger and yet so soft in kindness...
Great verse to keep before our eyes each day...to remind our mouth.:)
Blessings!
Ann

Dawn said...

Oh Tracy- thank you. I needed this reminder for me today!!!
humble~pie.....
Wonderful post.!

Stuff could always be worse said...

I love this, we always need to be reminded of this!
kim

From the Kitchen said...

This made me very sad. I'll bet that father and daughter were the dearest people in that woman's life and yet she used hurtful words in addressing them. Often we don't think about the weight of what we say on others. It's very hard to take but what is already said. Thanks for the reminder.

Best,
Bonnie

Catherine said...

Isn't it amazing how powerful words can be ~ negatively and positively.

A very thought provoking post Tracy.

Hope you have a beautiful weekend friend!
xo Catherine

Brian said...

I just don't understand why some think it is just fine to be rude. Have a wonderful weekend!

Yolanda said...

I so agree with you and think about this often. I am glad to have found your lovely blog . I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I lived not far from Holly Springs, MS for several years.

Jules said...

What a thoughtful post as my introduction to your blog!! So happy to have found you.

Debra W said...

Tracy,

We are so unaware of how powerful we truly are. Our words and our actions can create a chain of pain or a chain of sorrow in someone's day. The ripples are like the dropping of a stone in a pond, radiating outwards in ways that we cannot even imagine.

Be well, dear heart.

Hugs,
Debbie

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

You write beautifully! I just hate reading something like this makes my Ms Pearl in me want to come out. hahaha
Wish I could talk to that woman. That poor girl will always have low self esteem.
So sad
Maggie