I read a fable about a man who was near death and he wanted to make everything right before he died. He went to the king and asked what he must do. The king told him to put a big bag of goose feathers at the doorstep of everyone he had ever harmed with words.
The man took many bags to many door steps. Finally he finished the task and went back to the king.
“Now, what must I do?” he asked. The king replied, “Go back and gather up all of the bags.”
So the man went from door to door, trying to find each bag of goose feathers. He couldn’t find a single one. He went back to the king and told him there were no goose feathers to be found. The king responded,
“So it is with your words. They are carried on the wind, never to be taken back!”
Of course this is just a story but what a sobering thought. Proverbs 16:24 describes pleasant words:
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (KJV)
Pleasant words can soothe a fretful baby. Pleasant words can put a doctor’s patient at ease. Pleasant words can calm down an angry person: “A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger” (Proverbs 15:1, NCV).
Angry words can hurt, harm and wound. Angry words are not soon forgotten. Angry words stir up strife, break down marriages and can even start wars. We can be snared by our words. (Proverbs 6:2).
If we knew everything we spoke would come to pass I’m sure we would choose words carefully. Words reflect what is in the heart and can build or destroy. Wrong words can encourage or discourage. Words can bring life and light or darkness and misery.
Children especially need the right kind of words. Their spirits are sensitive and easily wounded, which could even carry into adulthood, resulting in personality dysfunction.
It is hard for someone to achieve success if he or she is surrounded by words of defeat, ridicule and rejection.
So let’s be an encourager. Let’s be generous with words of praise. Build and lift up someone today. You will be giving confidence to the defeated and bring hope to the hopeless.
Your pleasant words will come back to you because pleasant words restore the soul!
“Our words must have kindness
Than just wrong words we tell.
For God will surely watch
The right and wrong as well.”