We are never static relationally. Relationships are so infused within everything we do that we tend not to notice what’s really happening within them. Over time though, our tendencies become evident and we see whether we have been life-giving or not.
Our lives are not passive, like journeying in a train. They are more like being in a car where we can’t take our hands off the wheel. We need to be aware of all that’s happening around us as we go. Daily, all our lives are full of words. Some of these give us life and others take it. What is spoken over us has a profound effect. Our tongues are small instruments that, if used thoughtfully and constructively, enliven and strengthen us. But if used carelessly or selfishly their negative effect can wither us, playing on in our hearts for years. We all know the turmoil from words we’ve received that don’t sit right.
This is why we so need to be aware of the power of our words to heal or to harm. At the time we may not realise their cumulative effect. Words are very powerful triggers for each of us in very different ways. What we may feel is innocuous may be touching painful past experiences in others. Also, what we are unconsciously saying when we fail may be reinforcing a damaging false belief about ourselves.
A lot of our external words are produced first by our internal words which have gone around in our heads before being spoken. These habitual thought patterns become so familiar that we never think that a different way of seeing or processing is possible.
We all so need significant connection, to hear words that affirm and that echo what God believes us to be. We have profound responsibility to be life givers. In community we can practice being present, aware and honouring of each other. As we give each other space to be ourselves we learn to sense which words are necessary and when it is better not to fill that space between us, but to simply allow our hearts to communicate with and affirm each other.