Words are like toothpaste. Have you ever heard of words compared to a tube of toothpaste? Do you know how toothpaste can get sloppy, if we’re not paying attention? It can goop all over the top and make a sticky, gooey mess! However, when used properly, toothpaste keeps our mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy. Our words are the same.
Sometimes, if we aren’t careful, little cut-downs or grumblings slip out of our mouths, and our sloppy words make little messes. We end up with hurt feelings and bad moods. When we use kind, pleasant, gracious, well-ordered, fair, beautiful, life-giving words, we can cheer someone up. When we say nice, helpful things, our words allow others to feel joy, as well as keep our relationships healthy.
You Can’t Put Toothpaste Back In The Tube
Thinking about that tube of toothpaste, did you ever squeeze really hard on a tube of toothpaste and it all came squirting out? It feels good and fun in the moment, but oh, what a mess it makes! Our words do the same thing. When we open our mouths and speak hurtful, mean things, we can make a huge mess of our relationships!
Have you ever tried putting toothpaste back into the tube after it’s been squirted out? It’s nearly impossible, it’s the same with words. Once we say hurtful things, we can’t take them back. Saying “sorry, just kidding,” doesn’t take the sting away. Oft times, long after we’ve forgotten the words we spoke in haste, the person we said them to will remember them at leisure. We can’t take our words back, like we can’t put toothpaste back into the tube.
Let’s All Be Balcony People
Charles Fillmore, Unity’s Co-founder, said that “Words are the most powerful agents of the mind. Every time we speak, we cause the atoms of the body to tremble and change their places. Not only do we cause the atoms of our own body to change their position, but we raise or lower the rate of vibration and otherwise effect the bodies of others with whom we come in contact.” That quote brings us into awareness of how greatly our words impact those to whom we are speaking, including their bodies!
Unity’s third principle states: “We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.” We create our world with repetitive thoughts. Thoughts are really just words, both spoken and unspoken. Words that express love, impart wisdom, or create peace build people up, ourselves included, by that same power! In Balcony People by Joyce Landorf Heatherley, she encourages us to become “balcony people,” or ones who “live” in the balcony of life, drawing up the thinking (or consciousness) of everyone around them, by simply empowering or building up others with their words.
A Kind Word Is Honey For The Soul
In The Revealing Word, Fillmore tells us our power center is located at the root of our tongue in our throat and is really the power of the spoken word. So when Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life,” he meant that through the spoken word, he conveyed an inner spiritual quickening quality that would enter the mind of the recipient and awaken the inactive spirit and life.
We all have the power to spiritually quicken others with our words. When we are feeling connected to Spirit, our words have the power to manifest powerful, positive changes in the lives of others. Scripture reminds us that words of affirmation are not just nice to hear, they are actually soothing to the soul, and healing to the body. “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” ~ Proverbs 16:24.
Are Your Words True, Kind And Helpful?
I’ve been reflecting on the power of the spoken word and I’m compelled to use more kind, life-giving, affirmative words when speaking to those in my life. I want to utilize each interaction throughout every day to soothe and build up others. I get to choose my words which impact hearts and minds, words which build up or tear down.
Rev. Eric Butterworth told about, “a great teaching from the east… regarding words. As they knew the damage loose talk could do to both the speaker and the listener,… they set up three tests to run their words through before speaking.
- Are they true?
- Are they kind?
- Are they helpful?
Always THINK Before You Speak
My sister has a poster which she’s kept on her refrigerator for years. It reads: “THINK Before You Speak,” with the word “THINK” being an acronym for a helpful strategy to test our words before we speak them.
T Is it TRUE?
H Is it HELPFUL?
I Is it INSPIRING?
N Is it NECESSARY?
K Is it KIND?
We need to BREATHE and THINK, BEFORE we speak, in order for our words to be more effective. When we speak kind, loving words it makes a difference, even the Dali Lama says that his religion is kindness.
Stop, Breathe And Think…BEFORE You Speak
Here are some powerful, simple examples of kind, life-affirming words that are hopefully TRUE, HELPFUL, INSPIRING, NECESSARY, and KIND… I love spending time with you. I think you are kind. I’m proud of you for trying so hard. I’m glad you’re my (friend, child, parent or partner). You are a gift in my life. You are so special to me. You are wonderfully made. God is at work each moment of your day. I am blessed you are part of my life. I love having you in my life. You are one of my very best friends. You are so perceptive and intelligent (smart, cute, funny, etc…). I like spending time with you. You are God in expression.
Remember, your words are like toothpaste. Words can make a mess when we aren’t mindful, or words can draw out the best, we get to choose. How are you going to use your words today? I’m going to remember to stop, breathe and think before I speak. How about you? Are you going to choose encouraging, lifting words for those in your life, like the greeting card industry does so well? I hope you do. I hope you select lovely words to share with all the special people in your life.