It doesn’t matter what you say

In the past year, I came across this quote.

I say, “came across” as if I “happened upon it.”
I don’t believe in such silliness.
God put it before me
in print and conversation … time and time again.
And I thought about the idea as it applied to my life
and watched other people interact
and saw the bare, honest truth within.

People don't remember what you said. People remember the way you made them feel.

When you tell your child you are proud of her,
but you follow your compliments with phrases like,
“I just wish you would ….. ”
or “but, you can do better …… ”
you make her feel “never good enough.”

When you say that you love someone
but you stab little stabs at the things that they do
that are not things that y.o.u might do
in order to get them to see things your way,
you make that person feel as though
they are less than, unacceptable and rejected.

When a child apologizes to you and you say,
“I forgive you, but …..”
you make him feel as though his contrite heart
is not enough …. that his sorrow over his mistake
can never repair your injury … and you don’t really want him in your life
fully, completely … as he is.

When a friend has a miscarriage and you say,
“You can have another baby,”
that aching mommy or reeling daddy feels as though you are saying
“Your child was unimportant. She is replaceable.”

When you tell a friend you will be somewhere on a certain day
but you don’t call to tell that person that you won’t make it
or you simply don’t show up,
you make your friend feel unimportant in your life.
You make them feel as though you think y.o.u.r time is important,
but theirs is not.

When you wear a spiritual cloak  and say that you are a “Christian,”
but don’t accept the people around you ….
you don’t love them for who they are, how they are, the way they are,
you make feel as though they are unworthy of God’s love, too.
If you say that you are a Christian, you are a
living, talking, breathing representative of His love and acceptance.
If they are struggling to piece together spirituality in their lives,
they may push God away totally.

I am spending my days asking,
“How will these words make someone FEEL?”
I am intentional now ….
not just about the words that I use,
but how my words may be interpreted
at the emotional core of someone’s life.

It’s a tough thing. It takes a lot of thought.
But, I think that it is so important.
Because, in the end, I know that
people won’t really care what I said to them,
they will only remember how I made them feel.
When I am gone, I want people to remember
that I made them feel included, accepted and loved.

6 thoughts on “It doesn’t matter what you say

  1. this is my heart right now. Am I blessing the one who hears my voice and words? I need not always agree with somebody, but how am I responding, even when I do not? It can be done in love.


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