A few years ago I was searching in my husband’s sock drawer (I always steal his socks) when I found a thick white envelope with my son’s handwriting on the outside. I sat and started reading.
“Dad, you are my hero.”
Ryan penned these words the day Richard finished graduate school. The words revealed a young man who was not afraid to open his heart and let his dad see inside. There were three pages in that letter, words that Richard treasured as he read them.
Words he kept in his drawer so many years later.
[bctt tweet=”Kindness has a domino effect. One kind word leads to another. #ComeWithMe #livingfreetogether ” username=”suzanneeller”]
Kindness can have a domino effect. Reading the letter made me want to write a letter to my son.
I wanted to tell him that I remembered when he was a little boy and he offered drive-by kisses as he ran past, so energetic he barely had time to stop, but he did because he loved his mama. I wanted to tell him that when I was an exhausted mother to three toddlers, that his lopsided smile and Kermit the Frog belly laugh made me happy to be a mom.
Yesterday a friend of mine posted this on Facebook this week: “I’m no longer concerned about living a life that makes a difference. I just want to be kind.”
Because he is kind, he is living a life that makes a difference.
What a concept, right?
One of the kindest things we can do is to tell someone what they mean to us, and yet we often leave precious words unsaid. Words with the power to heal. Words that share the way we feel. Words that become treasures one day when words are all that remain.
We might not share those words because we feel that they already know them.
Sometimes they don’t.
We might not share them because others have rejected our kindness.
It’s not about what others do with your words, but the fact that you are willing to say them.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)
We often talk about the negative words we should hold back. But what about the words that have the power of life?
On Day #4 of Living a Life of Thank You, the adventure is to speak words that heal.
Maybe you are unsure how to say them, especially if this is rare for you. Share the words in a note. Leave it somewhere unexpected like on a pillow, taped to a steering wheel, or in a favorite chair.
[bctt tweet=”When we speak words of life over others, we live a life that matters. #ComeWithMe #livingfreetogether ” username=”suzanneeller”]
Tell them something they do that makes you happy. Share a treasured memory, or a moment when they brightened your day.
Blaise Pascal once said, “Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s (women’s, children’s) souls, and a beautiful image it is.”
When we begin to speak those words sincerely, they take root in the hearts of those receiving them. It might be a seed which will push up through fertile ground right before your eyes. It might be a seed that is planted, and the Holy Spirit waters it year after year until it takes root.
Speaking them has the power to change others, but it changes us first.
When we speak with kindness, we live a life that matters.
Day #4 of Living a Life of Thank You
Dear Lord, scripture is filled with words that remind us of your love. Today use our words to affirm, encourage, lift up, and to say “I love you” to the treasured people you put in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- Choose to speak healing words throughout this entire day. Choose kind words. Don’t expect anything in return. Give them because you can.
Q: Was this a challenge? Why or why not?
Q: Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue has the power of life or death. What does that mean to you personally?
Q: “I only offer kind words when they are deserved.” Share your response to this statement.
Read pages 131-133 in Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads.
- List at least two things for which you are thankful about a friend, loved one, or family member.
- Call, write, or text that person and tell them. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. Use healing, kind words.
Listen to this word of encouragement for you today:
Rita, same is true for me. Today I will intentionally speak loving affirmations, not just to my adult daughters, but to my husband, who does not hear this from me enough.
Thanks, Suzie, I needed this reminder. I have so much power to heal with my words.
Controlling what we say is not just about avoiding the negative, but, more importantly, it’s about using our kind words to help and heal others. Thank you, Suzie. Your words bring life.
Wow…in the little time that I have been awake this morning the Lord has shared with me three times about letting people know that I love them and not taking it for granted that they know. I have the message loud and clear. And your suggestions are great ways for me to start.
“I only offer kinds word when they are deserved.”- I think this statement is something that can will hold us back from exhibiting God’s grace and it could be one of those times someone really needs to be shown that kind of love, that kindness.
I love living a life that says Thank You!! I make an effort to let the various people I encounter each day, in the grocery store, hardware store, local coffee shop-where ever I go know that I appreciate them very much. I wasn’t always like this-I used to be very self absorbed but was challenged in a Bible study to get in the habit of being grateful. No only does it brighten the day of others, I have found it’s pretty darn hard to be in a grumpy mood when I am focusing on others. Both my husband and I let each other know how much we appreciate each other on a daily basis. I do realize, though, that there are a few thank you notes that need to be written for some very kind people that have helped us these last few weeks. I know they know we appreciate them but there is definitely something nice about reading a thank you note. I save the ones I’ve received and read them from time to time to remind myself I’m not that bad after all!!
“I only offer kind words when they are deserved.” That statement jumped out at me. No, no, no! When they aren’t deserved is when they are most needed. I volunteer in a kindergarten class. Yesterday a little boy who has severe anger issues nearly exploded on me after not listening and following directions. After he sat down and noticed for a while, I quietly went to him and said, You are such a good helper. I am so sorry you couldn’t help with the cleanup and I explained why. He visibly relaxed. Kindness is the key. It does make a difference!! 🙂
Kindness = grace. This is something that I heard at a presentation and try to remind myself to extend that to others. So, as the Lord extends grace to me, so I may extend the same to others.
Kindness is a word that I’ve been pondering often, lately. I love what you said about the powerful effect of kind words on others. I do think the tongue holds incredible power. Thank you for this encouragement today and for hosting the link-up each week.
Amen! We disarm the enemy with kind words, and we also work to diffuse harmful and hurtful situations. We also strengthen our dependence on the Holy Spirit. Kindness doesn’t come easy in all circumstances – but when we show it in the most difficult ones, God is glorified and we are blessed! Showing kindness to people who get under my skin is definitely something I struggle with. But the Lord is helping me to get over that – simply because I’ve refused to feed the negativity in my own heart. I try to think kind thoughts the moment negative or critical thoughts come to mind. When I read think of the statement, “I only offer kindness when it is deserved,” I think — what if God would have shown that same attitude toward me? Scary thought! I think of Matthew 5:45-47 “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others?”
As my Dad lay in his hospital bed, fighting the infection that would eventually take his life, I somehow sensed that day would be my last opportunity to talk with him. I poured out all the love I held for him in my heart. Most of it he already knew, as he’d heard it many times through the years, but I felt compelled to let it all spill out. I told him how blessed I was to have him for a father. I told him how much I loved and respected him. I thanked him for all the many sacrifices he’d made for our family. I told him what a privilege it was to be able to say, as an adult, that my Dad was my best friend. The strongest man I’ve ever known shed tears that day. He was too weak by that time to speak much. When I asked him if he knew just how much I loved him, he cracked a tiny smile and whispered “I think I have an idea.” A few hours later, he was put on a ventilator. By the next morning, he’d slipped into a coma. A week later, he was with Jesus. Words are powerful. I am so thankful to have been able to speak love to my Dad as he lay dying. I’m so thankful that I had that opportunity to talk to him one last time. Over that next week, I sat at his bedside, talking to him, but not knowing if he could hear me. But I know he heard me that day, and I’d like to believe it brought him peace to hear it. Even when we have told someone what they mean to us a hundred times, it still bears repeating. Those words of love may be the last they ever hear. Now, more than ever, I am making a conscious effort to make my parting words to everyone “I love you”. Anything can happen to anyone at any time. If I die tomorrow, I don’t want the last words I said to the people I love to be mundane, thoughtless words. And I certainly don’t want them to be words said in anger. I want them to be affirming, life giving words. With today’s challenge, I will be taking things even further and reaching out to friends and family I don’t see or speak to regularly and letting them know how much they mean to me. So convicted!!!
What a beautiful reminder of the power of words. We so often hold on to the words and never speak them. Thank you gentle reminder we all need kind words whether they are deserved or not. A kind word spoken can do wonders for another. I know they can turn my day around.
Thank you for inspiring us with your words. Thank you for your link up.
I love this. This is something that I hadn’t done enough in my life and am trying to do more intentionally now. It’s so easy when dealing with the public day after day to let the irritable emotions take over when a patient is late or when one (or several) are short and rude. I took the time this evening to ask a patient’s daughter if she was ok and she talked about how concerned she was about her mother. Later she stopped by and thanked me for asking her because it gave her an opportunity to get it out and that’s what she needed. That thank you blessed me more than I blessed her.
Love all of this, Suzie. Stirs my heart and shifts my thoughts…grateful in all circumstances. Kindness counts and changes our vision, our thoughts, our words.
On page 133 in your book, “Come with Me: Discovering the beauty of following where He leads” you wrote about Jesus washing our feet…washing away the grime and discontent away. This moved me…this is our Savior…kneeling and wiping away our yuck because of deep-rooted thankfulness for us. ❤️ Thank you, Jesus.
Thank for helping me see that following Jesus means speaking Kind words to others no matter who or what their response will b
But Jesus said He would reward me
You are so right about the negative words, sometimes we are wrapped up with keeping the death words out that we aren’t always speaking the life ones. They matter even more than keeping quiet about things, it is time to speak up from our hearts and share the love Jesus put there.