“My, you look so pretty today!” I am fairly certain that opening line may have gotten your attention, and hopefully you are reading this and you will continue to read my rambling thoughts to the very end. If not, oh well, you will miss the last great line that has your name written throughout it.
That opening line, with six simple words stating, “My, you look so pretty today,” can bring about so much joy, sunshine and security to a person. It can make one hold their head high and walk in such strength. Of course we have all heard for years, that words and actions can either speak life or death to you. I truly do believe this. I strive to practice it and I will preach it until the day I am called home to be with Jesus. We, my friends – yes, you and me – we do have the power of life and death in our tongue.
As a child who was raised in a home with several abusive stepfathers, my day-to-day life was often filled with all kinds of verbal and mental abuse. I was told many times horrible and hateful things about my appearance, my clumsiness, my nose, my sensitivity, my lack of knowledge in sports, my creativity, and as much as I hate to admit it, the list goes on and on. Those words, actions and such pushed me into some dark lonely places and caused me to question so much about me and who I was. For years, even after I became a Christian at 14, the lack of affirmation and encouragement plagued me and I made many wrong choices and decisions that did nothing but take me down some dark lonely paths. Even though I began to know and understand how much God loved me, created me and was there for me, there would still be those haunting doubts and insecurities trying to rule and reign over my world.
Thank God, He always has a plan and His ways are far greater than ours. He began to place many people in my life who began to speak words of life over me. I would walk into church after having experienced some verbal abuse or being made fun of, and there would be someone so special, like sweet and tender 85-year-old Sister Foos, and she would come out of her way to give me a hug, tell me how nice I looked, compliment me on my wild looking hippy tie (it was the 70’s of course), and then she would tuck a dollar in my hand to make sure I had money for a coke. She was planting good in my life.
So many other faithful friends through the past 40 years have spoken life over me with their words and actions, and yes, of course I have had others who have tried to speak death and junk. However, I decided I would choose to believe the good and not focus on the bad, unless it was something that I could learn and grow from, constructive criticism or just words of advice. All it takes is us speaking to someone and telling them how loved, how valuable they are, how hard they work, how much God loves and adores them, how their sensitivity is a gift, how strong they are in their faith, how talented they are with the gifts God has given them. Just words that will build them up and help them in what they have been entrusted with.
Yes, it all sounds so simple and maybe this little note is just a reminder to all of us once again that we can help others with our words and actions. I love the scripture, Psalms 139, where it says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. What amazing words of affirmation and encouragement those are, and what a gift that we can share those words with others.
So take a look around you, a really long eye-to-eye look around you, and see who you can speak life to. You never know the impact you have on someone’s life by sharing heart and words that will help bring life and energy.
Call me Mr. Positive, that’s always words of life to me. And I want to tell you today that: “YOU, my friend, are so loved, so valuable, and you are the apple of His eye and His plans are for you to prosper in all ways.”
Now that is truth, and that brings life even to me, as I tell it once again. Because His truth lives on and on and on.
By Dusty Wells
First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in August 2015.
Read Dusty’s latest column in the October 2015 SGN Scoops digital magazine.
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