Positive Words

Read more here to understand the effects positive words can have on our outcomes.

Ephesians 4:29, TLV

             The other day, a dear friend posted a modern-day parable on his Facebook page. The story is of two boys who climbed a tree. Ethan and Liam were swinging from branches high above the ground when a tremendous wind threatened to blow them out of the tree. Liam’s mother cried out, “Don’t fall, Liam,” while Ethan’s father shouted, “Hang on, son.” Suddenly, Liam fell to the ground below yet was not injured. Ethan managed to cling tightly to the tree and eventually climbed down as the wind calmed.

            A while later, Liam’s mother turned to Ethan’s father and asked, “Why is it that my son fell when I told him not to fall and your son didn’t?” Ethan’s father replied, “You see, the mind processes commands. It has a difficult time processing fear and negativity. In order for Liam’s brain to respond to not falling, it had to first imagine falling and then tell his brain not to fall. When Ethan was told to hold on, his brain had an immediate image of holding on and Ethan responded in kind.” Liam’s mom went home that night contemplating the powerful effects that positive words can have on others.

            Positive thoughts and words can affect the results of our experiences. This is not to say that we should never tell others not to do something that would bring them harm. Rather, the words of Ephesians 4:29 challenge us to choose our words carefully, so as to bring about for others the best possible outcomes. “Let no harmful word come out of your mouth[s],” exhorts the biblical writer, “but only what is beneficial for building others up according to the need…” (TLV). In the case of Ethan, a positive exhortation was the more beneficial approach rather than the negative tack. As the final verse of the childhood Sunday school song proclaims:

”O be careful little mouth what you say, O be careful little mouth what you say There’s a Father up above and He’s looking down in love So, be careful little mouth what you say.”

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