Words Matter

Gratitude Day 313

Mon., Aug. 5, 2019

Colossians 3:8 – But now also put these things out of your life: anger, bad temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and using evil words when you talk.

We say these sentences, sometimes without even thinking.

“Things will get better with time.”

“You have such great memories.”

“He’s in a better place.”

“Let me know what I can do for you.”

As I sat with two friends, they shared how these sentences have been said to them time after time. Both have lost important people in their lives. Both are going through grief. Both miss the person who has left a huge hole in their lives.

We, on the other hand, dole out these platitudes one after another because, well, they make us feel better.

But do they make the other person feel better? Really? Do we honestly always believe our words? Or do we say them because we feel the need to fill the silence? The hole? The grief?

I’ve said them. I’ve had them said to me. And I’ll be honest. If you don’t really believe those words or know for sure that they are true, please don’t dole them out.

Just listen.

Just hold the other person’s hand.

Just be.

I know it’s so much easier to say those words that others say All. The. Time. But maybe, just maybe, think about what those words are saying before speaking them. We’re talking about a person’s feelings. We’re exploring someone’s grief. We’re trying to address a big old hole that may or may not be ready to be filled.

We feel the need to say something. Anything. Whether we fully understand what we are saying or not.

But please. Only use words you know to be true. Words that are not a platitude but something that will speak to the other person’s life today.

Otherwise, just be. Silence is OK. Grief needs time. And be my friend who lives beyond platitudes.

Please forgive me for the times I said those words to you without thinking. Without understanding. Without truly being present for you. I simply didn’t know better.

But I’ve heard my two friends speak. And now, I know better. My words matter. To you. I pray that I will be move careful about using words that will not hurt. That will heal. Otherwise, may my words be words of silence. And let me be OK with this.

For rediscovering that our words matter, I am grateful.

Holy God – too often, we find ourselves filling space with platitudes and words that we may or may not believe. Words that have been spoken to us or others in their moment of struggle. And without really thinking through what we say, we simply repeat them. Help me be more discerning with my words. What I say. How I say it. To whom I repeat it. My words matter. May my words be more ambassadors of your grace than simply words that I repeat without fully believing or understanding. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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