Saturday, July 12, 2008

Speak Kind Words

Verse 1

Let us oft speak kind words to each other.
If we’re in the mood or we’re not.
When our words are given without thought
Retrieval may never be bought.
Hate words, idle gossip and slander
Will shame and drive us apart.
They’ll sadden the heart that’s repining,
Kill courage, all hope and our love.

Verse 2

Spiteful words, quick retorts, snide remarks
Come quickly and wound instantly
They are words no one wants to hear.
They gash just like rocks or a spear,
They hurt the receiver, you and me;
At home or where ever we may be.
Till hearts break and minds close to view
A friendship we’ll never renew.

Chorus

Oh the service we give will be kind words and live
Forever in everyone’s heart.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Never let hurt our lips depart.

(Adaptation from LDS Hymnal #232 by Margaret Larsen Turley 7/12/08)

Recently at work, church and home I’ve had occasion to reflect on what the effect of my spoken and written words has been, whether given in person, via phone, through e-mail or other means. At times I have a sharp tongue that lashes out in anger, self-defense, and protection of loved ones or sometimes plain selfishness. Later when the simmering pot is on the back burner I often wish I could undo, un-say, un-send what I said even though it may have been justified in my mind at the time, or I may have been correct. When given time to think about the situation I can come up with a softer way to approach, kinder words to correct, or a better method to teach. Then I regret that I can’t erase the damage done, there is no way to retrieve the impression on vulnerable minds and hearts, and sometimes irreparable damage is done.
So, I hope in the future to count to ten before speaking, delay sending an e-mail until I can objectively review the intent and the effect it may have, and remember that I am speaking or writing to a child of God. So even if I am hurt by what someone else says or does, rather than react I hope to act as Christ our Exemplar would. I also ask forgiveness from any whom I may have offended recently or in the past.

6 comments:

  1. Beautifully said, Margaret. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. This is in line with the ERO principle. E + R = O Events, plus our Reaction = the Outcome Events in our lives do not dictate what happens to us or what path we will take, but our reactions to those events do. This is great news because we know then, that we are in charge of our destiny, or the outcome. We can't go back and make a new beginning, but we can start today and make a new ending. It is all a matter of choice...........our choice(s).

    Thanks Stephanie.

    I pasted in my brother, Jan's response to the blog since I felt it was very wise.
    Margaret

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  3. Oh but the difficulty to go from such wise words to wiser actions. Fits it in with our branch's message this past Sunday that started with our talks and ended with our RS lesson. Not by chance I think.

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  4. Oh but the difficulty to go from such wise words to wiser actions. Fits it in with our branch's message this past Sunday that started with our talks and ended with our RS lesson. Not by chance I think.

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  5. Well said, Margaret. I had a conversation with my sister-in-law on this same subject. She was angry with her husband's mother and trying to get over it. She expressed her frustration at how difficult it can be to be a true Christian...and do what the Savior would do, when it would be so much easier to just follow her "natural" instincts." Well, initially, anyway...it was a great discussion.

    Thanks for your timely reminder!

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  6. How well you put what I've felt for years.

    I am blessed, however, for I never speak in anger. Not because I have such great self control. It's an inborn thing. When I get angry or upset, my throat constricts and I simply cannot talk. If I try, I can only cry. Sometimes it's embarrassing, but at least I don't have to eat any angry words.

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