A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used.
True confessions here today - I don't always say the right things! Words escape my lips that would have best been left unsaid. What's worse is that I know there are times when I should just stay silent and someone goads me into speaking and then I let it all out! The truth of the matter is that whenever there is less thought behind the words and more emotion, they don't always come out in the best manner or with the most gracious of intent!
Do you always say words that build others up? I have been around individuals that seem to always be speaking very 'sappy' words. The words just 'drip' from their lips like some sweet substance, but I often wonder if they are really heartfelt words, or just some form of flattery. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two! Did you know that words that are spoken to flatter or 'build up' in an untruthful manner are just as 'rotten' as the ones spoken without much thought behind them? Flattery is a relationship killer - not a builder. Be intentional in your words, so that the words you speak genuinely build up.
How about the words you speak to yourself? Are they words that build up or tear down? We all speak 'about ourselves' - sometimes it is in our own head, but we all have these conversations. What do those words say about your view of yourself? If they are words that continually build up and 'stroke' one's own ego, maybe they are as hurtful as the harsh words that tear down. It isn't wrong to build one's self up, unless we are developing an elevated view of our worth in the process. For example, if I begin to tell myself over and over that the project I am engaged in could not go well without me, believing that others really aren't as 'significant' in their contributions as I am, I am likely developing an unhealthy 'mind conversation' that is feeding my ego.
Positive words are good, but the intent behind them is equally as important. Be genuine in your praise, but don't speak it to flatter. Flattery is really insincere compliments or praise that has at its roots one's own self-interest. Be truthful within your 'mind conversations'. Remember - the true value of our worth is not found in what we can do, have done, or think about ourselves. It is determined by being in right relationship with God - our worth is found in restored relationship. Life isn't about our 'self-esteem' because that is never going to change in God's eyes. He gave his Son to declare our value! Just sayin!