Be THE One1
There is a lesson that I find myself teaching to my first graders over and over…”Be careful what we say to our friends. Our words should always be kind.” This is a lesson my first graders often need reminding of as well as myself. It’s amazing the power that our words have. Our words can change someone’s day for the good or the bad. Our words can build someone up or shatter their hearts.
I experienced this very thing in my own life as a little girl. I grew up on the island of Trinidad, where my parents were missionaries. All the missionary kids went to a little school just for MK’s. We had one teacher and we all were in one room. There were only about 9 of us and she taught every grade. My teacher’s name was Miss Gibble. She was also a missionary, and she was a very tough teacher. She did not make school a fun place to be. I feared her and did not enjoy school. One day and I can remember this day as if it was yesterday; I was having a hard time grasping a Math concept. I was only eight years old and just not understanding. Instead of helping me, she told me how dumb I was. At that moment, my heart shattered, and I began to cry. She proceeded to call me a crybaby. That was it. My heart was broken, and now I really didn’t like school. I dreaded to go and was glad when the day was over. The next year, she left to go back to the states. Another missionary became our teacher, and something amazing happened. She spoke kindness and love to us. She helped us and showed us that she cared. That was what my heart needed. Her words and kindness were healing to me. She made me love school. She made me love school so much that I wanted to become a teacher myself. Her name is Mrs. Gwen Broucek, and I have told her several times that she is the reason I am a teacher today.
I am sure we all can think of times when someone’s words crushed us and broke our hearts. But I am sure we can also think of those people who spoke life into us. Proverbs 12:18 tells us, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Just as I tell my first graders that we need to speak kind words, I need to make sure my words encourage and build up others and not tear them down. God warns us over and over in His Word to watch our tongues. He knows that our small tongues can do major damage. In James 3:3-6, he compares our tongues to a flame of fire. But God also tells us in Proverbs 16:24 that “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”