Your words matter. They have the power to change minds, to change you, and even to change the world. They can build up and encourage or tear down and fester. Author Zig Ziglar once said, “There is power in words. What you say is what you get.”
So we should heed this anonymous quote’s advice: “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” When we understand that our words have power and that they matter, we make the most of them. Here are 4 ways to make your words matter more.
1. Be humble.
Humility brings patience with your words. If you’re humble, you’re likely to speak less and to speak gently. For example, being humble in an argument means you don’t get angry, speak louder, or talk more because you disagree with somebody. Instead, you use fewer words and you seek to understand the other person’s side. If you’re constantly thinking of others more than yourself in conversation, people will notice you care—so when you do speak, your words will carry more weight.Good communication is completely dependent on how well you listen.
2. Know how to listen.
Good communication is completely dependent on how well you listen. Sadly, instead of listening, a lot of us talk—especially when we disagree with someone. When I’m in the wrong, my natural tendency is to talk more. We try to win or get our way in a conversation. But it only makes the problem bigger. The more you talk, your words start to matter less and less. But if you listen well, your words will mean more.
3. Spend time.
Many find that their words don’t matter to others because they don’t invest the time it takes to build a relationship. No matter how busy you are, don’t look at encounters with others as distractions. See them as opportunities to connect. See the value inherent in every person and every conversation. Your words will start to matter more when you give your time and attention to others. When you value other people, they’re more likely to value your words.
4. Please the right person.
I believe our words should align with God’s Word. Our words should be pleasing to Him. And when they are pleasing to God, they will be pleasing to others. So we always need to ask ourselves questions—am I speaking in truth? Am I speaking with love? Am I speaking to build up? Am I speaking with the best interests of the other person in mind?
Sound off: Whose words have mattered most to you, and what impact has that person had on your life?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think words are so important?”