“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
My littles are truly something else.
I was trying to do something at my SmartBoard which wasn’t working at the moment.
It happens. I wasn’t about to get hot under the collar over it.
I was already prepping Plan B.
Little #1: Mrs. Lowes, are you disappointed?
Me: *distractedly moving on with my life* I guess I am.
Little #1 *very serious*: It will be okay. Breathe.
Little # 2: Yes, Mrs. Lowes, breathe. Slow. Like this! *pops up out of her seat and demonstrates a very calm model of a slow counting technique* One. Breath. Two. Breath. Three. Breath.
(Now where have I heard that before?)
Littles 3 through 6: Yes! Like that!
Little 7: It’s okay Teacher. You won’t stay disappointed for the whole day.
Little 8: You got this!
*Generalized nodding, sympathetic clucking, and thumbs up signals from around the room*
I submitted to their ministrations and took their advice, working through my ‘disappointment’ as per their instructions because – well, because it was so darn cute.
I really hadn’t thought they’d been listening.
We’ve been working for months on dealing with our emotions, approaching problems with a growth mindset, and practicing calming techniques, but it’s hard to tell how much is getting through some days.
Eyes glaze over. Fingers fidget. Attention wanders. You can’t win them all.
A definite win!
That means every word that comes out of my mouth has the potential to impact their choices, instill and model wise behaviour – or unleash the exact opposite, if I’m not careful.
And days get long. A lot of words come out of my face in a day.
Am I accountable for every single one?
Heaven help us…
What I say matters. What you say matters. How we approach those we have authority over matters.
We have so much potential to do good with what we say and how we say it – and just as much potential for harming those to whom we speak by modelling impatience, contempt, or worse.
I don’t know about you, but I really could use some help from heaven to guard my tongue and make sure that my words have value and help to build God’s kingdom, rather than tearing it down.
Be careful what you say with me?
Father, Your words spoke life into existence. So too, our words have creative power to build up or tear down. Bless us with words that will be of benefit to our listeners and promote harmony and peace and wisdom. Amen.