The Power of Your Words

October 16th, 2013 @   -  No Comments

Once there was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him to hammer one into the fence every time he lost his temper. 

The first day, the boy used 37 nails. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily decreased. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it. The father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave scars just like these ones. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, but it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”  (Unknown author)

Can you remember a time someone hurt you with their words? It may have been a put-down, criticism, or discouraging remark. How did it make you feel?

Now can you remember a time someone said something to you that uplifted, encouraged or inspired you? How did that make you feel?

Kind words can revive lost hope, bring encouragement in the most discouraging situations, and build a person’s esteem to accomplish much more than they ever dreamed of. What people say to each other can have a very powerful impact, yet how often do we speak without thinking about our words and their effect on others?

Some people asked the Prophet (PBUH), “Whose Islam is the best? (i.e. Who is a very good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.” (Sahih Bukhari) In another hadeeth, the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Your children will learn to speak the way you do. If you use harsh words or if you are overly negative and critical, they will learn to do and be the same. Do you lie, backbite, or joke at the expense of others? What are your children learning from you?

The words that we speak can live forever in a person’s mind; this is especially true when raising children. We hear of adults who attribute a major part of their success to a few words of encouragement they received at a young age. It’s difficult to forget words that have a major impact on a person’s self-belief. Is the way you speak to your children going to build them up or bring them down?

You can kill a person with a knife but you can also kill a person’s soul with your words. So don’t let what you say become the cause of someone else’s pain or sadness. 

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