Dear Future Son or Daughter,
You will grow up in a world where people throw words around like confetti. They will say things too quickly and try to pretend like they meant something else. They will pretend like their words don’t matter.
But let me tell you just one thing:
Every word you say matters.
Every word has the power of life or death.
Every word reveals the quality of the heart which birthed the thought which birthed the word.
Every word can pierce a person’s heart or cause it to sing – though they may never show it.
Words capture and spark emotions, which run deep. A hand-written love note, a song that moves us to tears, a hateful piece of graffiti, a shouted argument, a few words arranged in a poem, a whispered affirmation – they make our hearts beat faster, grow angrier, soften in tenderness, and smile with delight.
Words can build a war zone surrounded with barbed wire – or they can grow a garden surrounded with trees.
Words can be used to angrily defend oneself – or they can be used to calmly understand someone else.
Words can be the cause of violent protests and hate crimes – or they can be the cause of restoration and peace.
But sometimes, when we’re trying to be the second instead of the first, words end up empty and hollow because they represent something that isn’t being acted upon.
Words may represent our thoughts and emotions, but our actions truly reveal whether we mean those words or not.
And our words cannot possibly give life to someone else unless they are coming from the one who is the Word of God Himself.
His words are always truth and light – they are the source of all peace and joy in the world. And if we want to start giving some of that back to a broken world, we have to rest in His words daily.
We think we already know the words. We think we’ve had enough of Scripture reading, memorization, or meditation. But there can never be enough. Because there are so many, many words of darkness, hate, and anger swirling around us every day.
We will never win in the combat against them unless we are arming ourselves daily with the words of God himself – the one who died so that words might be a gift – a piece of Himself from one person to another.
We can’t change a person’s heart and the words that flow from it.
But we can make small differences with our own words.
We can start by replacing complaining with gratitude.
We can start by telling someone thank you for what they’ve done for us – either in person or in a written message.
We can start by giving someone a compliment.
We can start by telling someone, “I love you.”
We can start by not passing on the negativity.
We can start by reminding someone of their gifts and their value in the world.
Sons and daughters of the next generation – remember this, I beg of you. Don’t speak in haste and live to regret it. Think deep thoughts, speak them slowly and intentionally, and remember to always speak more kindly than you feel.
The world needs more encouragers – not more discouragers. Let it start with you.
Someone who deeply cares about the kind of person you will grow up to be
Dear Future Son or Daughter,