Ouch! Your Words Hurt Me
Sometimes we say things we shouldn’t. We say things we don’t mean and children say things having no idea what they mean. They do not comprehend the full weight of the words on another’s soul. This week in morning prayer, we are talking about words. We can choose to say anything we want to. Words are completely generated from our own minds. For children, this is a powerful concept. Your words represent who you are. I asked the students if any of them had said something that hurt someone. Not a misunderstanding but words that were mean. Words that came out of their mouths with teeth and fire and thorns; said in anger or disrespect. Most every hand went up (they are so honest with themselves). Mine too. Saying words that are mean, happens. We are a product of our environment and the world is not particularly holy right now. “Garbage in, garbage out.” In computer science, garbage in, garbage out describes the concept that flawed, or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or “garbage”. Kids will hear nonsense as they live their lives, there is little doubt.
We must teach our children to speak clearly. To make eye contact, and smile as they speak. They can focus on the words they speak by looking at the expression on the other person’s face. This is a learned behavior and they can start to practice at a very young age. All of the children practiced this at morning prayer by turning toward someone and looking them in the eye. After taking a moment, give them a compliment. This was awkward at first and they were a bit tongue tied. But then they had a hard time stopping, and you could feel the joy in the hallway. Then I asked them to say “will you pray for me?” to the other person. This is how we can train our minds to be conscious of the things we say and to look people in the eye so we can see the effect of our words on their soul. We should use our words to bring people closer to the kingdom of God.
But we all agreed that we might say mean things. Even still. So we heal our heart by confessing them. We should ask for forgiveness and feel God’s mercy as we face another day with a mindful purpose of being a light of Christ.
Anne Atkin, principal
Ephesians 4:28 “Let no evil come out of our mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”