THE POWER OF OUR WORDS – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC

Today Pastor Mike delivered a message regarding the “power of our words in relationships/marriage.” He told us that it is so important and life changing when we decide to use our words in giving “helpful feedback.” He quoted Aristotle, “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” When we decide to offer our words…criticism…feedback, we must remember as it states in Proverbs 18:21…”The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” We must ask ourselves how the words we are about to deliver will make a difference in our “relationship”…Who is with us on our relation “ship?” Who is in our circle of influence, and do we have the loving ability to help “steer” them as we learn to communicate with love and through the Universe/God/Spirit’s guidance?

Pastor Mike, whose background is in relationships/marriage, tells us that in his own marriage, he and his wife mindfully decided together that they had to “do things differently.”

This is a powerful decision when two people who deeply love each other decide to weather the storm in their relation “ship,” and ride the waves together and decide to try a new way of communication…talk openly and truthfully through the power of words…communication. And to continue to work things out time and time again…never “jumping ship.”

Pastor Mike quoted James 3:3-6…”When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”…THE POWER OF OUR WORDS where we can experience progressive transformation…as a couple, and personally…when we choose our words with love.

Pastor Mike talked about loving communication and in doing things differently, setting boundaries where “certain words and phrases are not tolerated.” He goes on to say that of course, being imperfect, we will still go there, but placing love, hope and faith at the center with God/Universe/Spirit, we can always forgive, learn, grow, evolve.

Pastor Mike posed some wonderful questions/thoughts to think about regarding criticism/feedback as in Proverbs 19:11 NIV– “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

  1. Sometimes we do not respond…”Sensible people control their temper…they earn respect by holding their tongue…”
  2. Sometimes we respond carefully (We do not react) Ask ourselves, “Is there truth in this statement/criticism, and look to God/Universe/Spirit for the truth before we respond.” Humble ourselves and work to evolve.
  3. Do I trust the person giving feedback/criticism? Do I believe they have my best in mind?

Ask myself “what change do I need to make to further this relationship, or to grow personally based on this criticism?

PUSH PAUSE! WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T! PUSH PAUSE! – DO NOT RESPOND RIGHT AWAY…ASSESS THE SITUATION…BELIEVE THE BEST IN OTHERS…

When you love and understand the person in your relationship, you inherently know that they are always coming from a place of love with your best interest at heart…they may also be feeling hurt or pain…but overall, we know their love for us is always at the center of their words…their actions, and their behavior. When we love someone and are deeply connected, we feel them in our heart and soul and recognize their truth.

Proverbs 15:31-32 NLT “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”

Pastor Mike suggested we ask ourselves the following questions before criticizing, and to give good/helpful feedback:

  1. Do they trust my motives? Trust is foundational, and can always be rebuilt when we have faith in love, and trust in the Universe/God/Spirit.
  2. What do I want for ME in this relationship and in giving this criticism? Is it to better “us?” Is it retaliatory? If it is retaliatory , it is NOT helpful. Remember, we need not respond to everything.
  3. What do I want for others in giving this feedback? To grow our relationship? To grow personally?
  4. What do I want for this relationship? Goal? Envision a better future with this specific feedback? Growth for us?

Today I truly felt that I was hearing a message that was so pertinent in my own life. Whether or not I am able to apply it now, or in the future with other relationships, I know that I was meant to hear this message today, as I always feel after I attend services. There is always a message…always an opportunity to learn and to foster healing and growth. As Daniel Nielsen said, “REAL love is not about ME…It’s about WE.”

We can always decide to do things differently…and to have faith as we sail on in our relation “ship.” Always choosing to ride out the storm together.

Love and blessings,

Wendy

 

 

 

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