For the past week, my friend Tonya (who blogs at Nearly Missed it) and I have been doing a “secret” project, which we are revealing this week! About a month ago I was inspired by the power that our words have on others and wanted to do a week long experiment on this subject, then blog about it.
Most of us at some point in our week get stressed or frustrated with something. Maybe it’s your kids, job, co-workers, Husband, family stuff, etc. (the list can go on and on!) Have you ever caught yourself getting short with people, being negative, complaining, talking negatively about someone behind their back, or maybe even yelling? How are you using your words? Do you use them to lift people up, show love, gratitude, or praise? Or do you fall in to the trap of saying things that really aren’t very edifying or loving to those around you.
These are the thoughts that were ruminating in my head during my evening quiet time last month as I thought of not just my own words, but the words I see/hear other people using as well. These thoughts were ironically confirmed through a devotion I read not too long after that, about being careful of what we speak. It ended with a prayer that talked about using our words to bring joy and life to those around us. While I try to live my life in such a way where I am kind, and showing love as often as possible through my actions, I am not infallible. None of us are. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own “stuff”, that I can stumble. Sound familiar?
Part of my inspiration for this project was also a verse that popped in my head, “Freely you have received, Freely give”. I have read that many times but never really thought about it in relation to the spoken word before. I feel that this phrase can also pertain to freely giving of our words-in the form of sincere compliments and thanksgiving.
I decided it would be interesting to make this a secret experiment, and for ONE WHOLE week I would try to not utter one negative word to another! Not one complaint. I would only say positive things and I would use my words to encourage. I would also make a point to go above and beyond that and reach out to as many people in my life as possible by complimenting them, telling them how much I appreciate them or how much they mean to me (gratitude). Basically just lovin’ on people and spreading around as much sunshine as possible. Sounds easy enough, right? 😉
I contacted Tonya, shared my idea with her, and invited her to join me. I thought it would be more interesting for you guys, if you heard not just my experience with this, but another person’s as well. She was happy to join in and it’s been fun having a partner to do this with! We call this project “The Praise Project” for a 2 fold reason. One , because of the obvious- we made a point to use our words to only praise, and not criticize, for a week. Two, because part of the devotion I read mentioned how when we use our mouths to speak words of praise to others, we are also praising or glorifying God in the process.
We kept a journal of things we did each day and what the outcome was. I will be sharing my project experience with you on Wednesday, and Tonya will be guest posting on my site to share her experience Tomorrow (Tuesday)! Be looking in your email or the “We Live Inspired!” website this week, to see what we did and how it affected us and our environments!
Thoughts for you: Could you go one whole week without letting any negativity (in the form of criticizing, gossiping, complaining, acting irritated, etc) come out of your mouth?