the Life Hack That Brings Light
I love learning simple solutions that are immediately useful and actually make a difference in my daily existence, don’t you?
I recently learned that one can use a stick of uncooked spaghetti to light candles with hard-to-reach wicks. After years of sticking my arm up to the elbow in jar candles and simultaneously burning my fingers while getting covered in soot, I was ecstatic to learn this handy tidbit of information.
Beyond revolutionizing the lighting of jar candles, how wonderful would it be to learn a life hack that could bring light and joy to the atmosphere of our homes and workplaces? One that not only can transform the atmosphere around us but inside us as well by increasing feelings of happiness and well-being? Today, I am going to share just such a treasure with you. If applied regularly and sincerely, it will also make others more thankful for you! Sound like a winner? I think so too!
The secret? Well, it’s no secret. It’s something you use already every single day. What will make a difference, however, is eliminating (as much as possible) negative uses and incorporating positive ones. The item in question? Words.
We use them all day, every day. But few of us really take time to think about the impact our words are having. I suspect an even smaller number of people recognize that each time we open our mouths, we make a choice about what emerges. No one’s mouth “runs away with them”, not really. We hold the reins on that pony the whole time, but too often we refuse to use them.
The Power of Words and the Power of choice
Our words can lift, or they can crush. They can bless, or they can curse. They can bring life or they can speak death, but we are the ones who choose how we use them.
Making a conscious choice to use words to lift, bless, and encourage can truly change the atmosphere in our homes and workplaces. If I am feeling super irritated with one of my kids and the downward spiral has begun, I have learned how to turn the situation around. Most of the time. 🙂 Stopping, looking into the eyes of the guilty (or perhaps innocent) party, and affirming something positive about them can completely change both the atmosphere and my current emotional state.
Consciously use words to affirm the value and good in others and see how things change around you. Examples: “I know we haven’t been getting along the best today, but I want you to know I can’t even imagine life without you, and I’m so thankful every day that God put you in our family” or “I noticed that you took the trash out this morning before I even asked you to do it – I so appreciate the ways I see you turning into a mature, responsible young man – you are a blessing to me”.
If at first, this kind of language sounds foreign to you, and if at first, you get suspicious looks from your family or coworkers, don’t give up! Mastering how we use our words can be the one factor that makes the difference between people running in the other direction when they see us coming, or intentionally seeking us out because we are positive, affirming people others enjoy. The key is to be sincere, not smarmy, and certainly not sarcastic.
The Book I Wish I’d Written
Need a resource to help get you moving down this path? I have The. Most. Incredible. book to share with you!
It would make my short list of books to take to that desert island people always discuss – Positive Words, Powerful Results by Dr. Hal Urban (and thank you, Jan, for recommending it to me years ago!). After reading it, I became so much more aware of what was coming out of my mouth and how much I actually choose to complain – ugh. My kids and I read the book together, and doing that really helped us stay accountable – and without my having to do anything else they, too, were filled with a desire to use words in a more positive way. That right there is worth the price of the book and music to a parent’s ears!
Dr. Hal’s book is filled with real-life stories and examples from his many years as a teacher. We considered the lessons learned in this book (which really just reinforced in a fresh, easy-to-apply way what I already knew from Scripture) to be so important that we keep the book in our everyday reading basket with plans to read it through at least once each year.
November, when our focus naturally shifts to thankfulness, is the perfect month to do it! For me, reading this book and putting its principles into practice helped me to become a more thankful person, and I know my family appreciates the changes, too.
Another great way to stay mindful of the power of our words is to commit verses like these to memory:
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Pr 15:4, NIV
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Pr 18:21, NIV
“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Pr 12:18, NIV
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Pr 16:24, NIV
Be Someone Others Are Thankful For
- I want to be master over my words, not let my words master me and keep others and myself from a joyful and victorious life.
- I want my words to bring life, healing, blessing, and encouragement to others.
- I want to be an example to my children of the way God wants us to use words.
- I want to be someone who makes a positive impact on others and makes them feel better for having been with me.
I think it’s time to refresh those Scriptures in my memory, grab my copy of Positive Words, Powerful Results, and spend some time absorbing the wisdom of both.
Harnessing our words – simple, though not always easy. But the results, I think you’ll agree, are so worth the effort it takes to achieve them.
Here is Dr. Hal Urban’s website for those who would like to read more about him and his books!