I’m sure you have heard the old saying “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” This is the focus of today’s message. There are lots of items that could be listed, in fact, enough to fill a book. Below are a few that come to mind:
- What is the tone of the words, light or serious?
- Are they accusatory, slanderous, inflaming or are they uplifting and positive, building up others?
- Are they truths, half truths, rumors, or outright lies?
- Are they appropriate to be said or are they confidential and should be kept to ourselves?
- Is the timing for saying them appropriate or better reserved for a better time?
- What is our purpose in saying them? Is it to build ourselves up, tell juicy stories, spread rumors and hearsay or for a truly noble purpose or educational?
- Are we in full control of our faculties as we say them. Many times a little adult beverage or such makes us more prone to say things we otherwise wouldn’t.
Many times, we end up dealing with the law of unintended consequences. We hurt the feelings of others. We say things that can be used in a court of law against us. We alienate friends and family. Unplanned others hear or hear of our conversations and spread them, taking them as fact whether intended that way our not.
Words can not be taken back, particularly, in this day of social media, text, and email. Once they are out there, they are out there. We need to be careful, even with our group of closest friends. Most friends have other friends so things tend to spread.
All of us need to be conscious of what we say. We will make missteps but, just thinking about what we say and realizing the possible impact can go a long way to minimizing them. Words are powerful tools. Let’s do our best to use our words in positive ways.