You know how some things people say stick with your forever?
For better or for worse?
Words really are powerful.
My 7th grade teacher once called me a "snot".
She probably does not even remember.
But I can't forget it.
The truth is, I probably was being a snot. And she probably was having a rotten day with one too many junior high snide comments.
But I am thirty-six years old and I can still clearly remember how those words made me feel.
What scary power.
I know this and yet I am always speaking without thinking.
I hear myself say such ridiculous things.
But that's not even the worst of it.
Those silly things probably will be soon forgotten by everyone who heard them.
It's the other things I say that are going to stick.
The more hurtful words and phrases. The ones I don't even want to admit in writing.
You know the ones.
I say them when I am unhappy. When I want someone to know just how unhappy they have made me. When I think it's their fault. When I want them to hurt, even just a little. Sometimes a lot.
I just say things.
And I may not even mean them.
And it's horrible enough when I say those rotten words to adults. But somehow, it seems, I am able to control that flow of speech better.
What is worse, really worse, is when I say these words to my children - the smaller-than-me people living in our house.
And I know it.
I know it because I know the power of words - to heal or to hurt, to bring peace or to bring chaos.
And I would much rather my words lift my children up, rather than bring them down. I would much rather my mouth glorify God than bring Him shame.
Handle them carefully for words have more power than atom bombs.
- Pearl Strachan