Monday, June 25, 2018

Talking About Truth

Most of you will remember we have seven grandchildren and one more on the way this summer.  Five of these children have incredible verbal skills already.  What they come up with keeps us in stitches. 

Most recently, it was the Smith family providing entertainment.

Madi and Noah were having a small altercation as siblings often do.  Dad (Nathan) stepped in to dispense discipline.  Based on what he had seen, he told Noah to apologize for hitting his sister.
        Noah:  "Sorry,  Madi for hitting you."
        Madi:  "I forgive you budher.  I sawy for pulling you hair.  I tink you hair iz bootiful!"

(Brings to mind a great line from the old TV show, Perry Mason.  "Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?")

Ms. Madi also just celebrated her third birthday.  A lady from our church bent down yesterday and said to her, "Happy Birthday, Madi.  I hope you had a nice birthday."  Madi sighed, propped her hand on her hip and responded, "Tank you.  It was ovuhr in four minutes!"  Can't make this up!

Abby (Joy and John's oldest daughter) will turn six later this week.  She read a Bible story for bedtime last night that is written on a second grade level and she just graduated from K-5.  Spencer (7) is reading even farther ahead and can answer just about any question I have about my phone.

Please pardon the unbridled Noni enthusiasm.  Every grandmother reading this understands completely.

But smiling about the command these little people have over language reminded me of a story from my upcoming book.  In a chapter on Words, I write about the importance of choosing our words wisely.  Solomon said, "The power of life and death are in the tongue." (Proverbs 18:21) 

Such an incredible truth!

I've included an excerpt that tells of a friend who was unaware of how her words were impacting others.

I had a dear friend once who struggled in this area.  Her words were almost always negative.  Ali could paint incredibly vivid pictures of failure for anyone who dared to attempt something new.  She was a realist who pointed out shortcomings of all those around her.  If someone dropped the ball or made a mistake, Ali made certain the proper people were notified.

Conversations with Ali sapped me of energy.  I dreaded getting together with her for coffee or a meal. I sometimes avoided answering her phone calls.  A quote by C.S. Lewis perfectly describes the feelings I had but in a humorous way.  “It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see them.”

 When I finally worked up courage to share my concerns with my friend, she was shocked.  “Well I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I’m the most positive person I know.”  It was my turn to be shocked. 

Ali literally had no idea the impact her words were having on others.  Fortunately, our talk ripped off a scab she had allowed to form over an old wound.  Ali began engaging in honest conversations with family and other friends.  One by one she discovered they felt the same way I did.

At a lunch meeting we had weeks later, Ali thanked me for being brave enough to share my concerns with her.  The solution for her problem wasn’t easy but it was so obviously simple.  My friend had to begin choosing life! 

Ali had to recognize the power of her words.  She had to measure their impact and change the way she talked.  She had to stop bringing death to each conversation and bring life instead.

The transformation took time but Ali eventually became an avid contributor to others.  People began seeking her out for counsel and encouragement.  Her choice to invest in them became a rich harvest of joy and fulfillment in her own life.

Let's all remember the admonishment given by the wisest man who ever lived.  "The power of life and death are in the tongue!" 


  1. Great word and a great reminder!

    Those grandkids are a hoot and a half! 🙂

    Deb mantik