Words determine Responses

Did you realize that our words carry meaning and that they determine how others respond to us as an individual? "Of course!" you may say, "but who cares?" God does... and so should you!

You'd be amazed at the simple things we take for granted- for example, the famous three words- "I don't care!"  Although we are our brother's keeper, almost everyday we hear or use this phrase yelled in response to something said or done.  We take phrases such as these for granted not realizing the impact they make and the responses they generate- our words have power!

The words 'I don't care' when pulled apart, points to selfishness and denial of our responsibility to care about other's feelings. The word 'I' points the spotlight directly on us - it gives us a stage and a microphone to say to the world, "look at me."  Using 'I' gives us power - it makes us become the subject of the conversation - the life of the party - it makes us selfish - a non-characteristic of love.

1 Corinthians 13 reminds us how we should use love to respond to selfishness:

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

Nowhere in this verse do the words, "I don't care" have place to demonstrate selfishness. Saying we don't care is quite the opposite of who God wants us to be.  When we say we don't care, we're basically telling someone that they do not matter; that should never be our stance,  Everyone matters- even if we think that what others say bears no weight or sounds foolish - they matter, their words matter... their lives matter; we are our brothers' keeper!

We have the power to choose to be patient and kind - we have the power to choose not to be jealous or boastful or proud or rude - it's a choice! Choose today to build others and not be self-centered.  In building others, we build a strong society.

Instead of saying, "I don't care," trying using words like, "I don't get what you're saying but it's okay." More words - definitely, but less dismissive; such a statement gives room for inclusiveness, an opportunity for clarity and for individuals to show love, respect, and patience.  Give it a try, then come back to this blog and tell me how it worked.  I'd love to hear your story!