Tuesday May 24, 2011
I interact with countless people everyday. Students, parents, colleagues, my own children, my husband, the cashier in the grocery store.
And everyday I have a choice to make.
Balcony or basement?
Will my response lift someone up or pull them down?
So many times a day, a look, a smile or frown, or an answer empowers me. I often don’t even realize that what I say and do will affect those around me. Oh, I get the big stuff – the compliment, the insult, the sarcasm.
But the offhand response – or the lack of it – can carry meaning, too. King Solomon wrote, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).
And all too often, I’m not on the balcony or in the basement, I’m just camping out on the landing. By myself, probably looking in the mirror, thinking about me.
That’s when I let the opportunity to praise someone pass me by. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the compliant child. That’s the pleaser, the one you expect to do well and to expend the extra effort. And he doesn’t need your praise to do that, either, so you usually don’t lavish him with it. But he needs to hear he’s appreciated and of value, too. Because he is; but we just don’t say it because we think he’s okay without it.
Take an extra second today and consider your response. Can you give the grumpy cashier a smile or offer to bag those groceries yourself? Can you thank your child for doing what he’s supposed to do? There’s nothing wrong with expressing gratefulness for others’ faithfulness.
"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 6:24)
So join me as I step off the landing. I have a bit of climbing to do. But my steps will be seasoned with sweet words.
Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria. Click on over and come along with us!
And, before you go -- here's a real opportunity to put hands and feet to those words today. Bigger Picture Blogs has put together Help 4 Joplin, an organization that's hosting an online auction to raise funds for The Salvation Army in Joplin, Missouri. Items for the auction have been donated by a number of businesses, and all proceeds from the auction will directly benefit relief efforts in Joplin. There's more information here about how you can help spread the word, too.
Let's step off the landing together and give someone a hand up -- through words and actions.