Your Words are Your Responsibility
It wasn’t alllll my fault. My five-year-old HAD cut her hair with scissors despite my many warnings not to do so. And despite my knowledge that you should not pull hair down while cutting bangs…I did.
Her bangs were cute in a 1950s kind of way…with a hint of bowl-cut.
I already felt bad. But when she locked herself in the bathroom, climbed atop the pink stool to look at herself in the mirror and said, “I’m ugly,” my heart broke. Did it ever break! It brought up my own feelings of insecurity about my appearance. It dredged up my feelings of being a failure as a parent.
Why? Why did I pull her bangs down? Why wasn’t I more careful?
But I knew the real culprit were my words. You see, when I first noticed my hair-cutting mistake I said, “Your daddy is gonna kill me! He hates bangs.” I said it under my breath, without realizing that her five-year-old ears were listening intently, watching my facial expression carefully as I wielded the scissors.
It wasn’t all my fault, but I definitely didn’t make it any better with my careless words.
And all my compliments like, “you’re soooo pretty and fashionable,” didn’t seem to undo the harm I had caused. The truth is WORDS ARE POWERFUL. Even the ones spoken in a moment of panic and under our breath.
This morning I watched Brit Nicole’s hit song, “Gold.”
Depiction of teenage issues abounded galore – from a “vampire girl” wearing too much black eyeliner, to a boy who is laughed at for doing ballet to a super-skinny-already bulimic girl. The video showed the teens being sucked out of their real life into a party/castle where the singer relays the message that we are “worth more than gold” in God’s eyes.
It’s true. We are his masterpiece. But those masterpieces can get broken — physically, spiritually and emotionally. And many of those cracks and fissures stem from words spoken over us — words of malice from inside and outside ourselves.
At the recent Allume 2014 conference, Annie Downs said:
Your words open doors for other people to walk through.
We know words are powerful because Jesus is called The Word. Everything that was created was made through him. God spoke creation into existence.
As bloggers, we should craft our words carefully.
I believe that songs like Brit Nicole’s resonant with people because they KNOW deep down that they are flawed — but they are tired of the record spinning the same horrible tape of “you are a loser” over and over in their heads. Even Christians suffer with self-defeating thoughts.
I love the song “All about that Bass” by Meghan Trainor which promotes a healthy body image. I don’t agree with all the lyrics, but I love that it combats the lie that constantly plays on repeat in our brains.
You must be skinny, you must look like a model, you must have beautiful skin…you must…you must…IN ORDER TO BE VALUABLE.
We live in a world that incessantly tells us what it takes to be acceptable.
In fact, many times we go to churches that tell us what it takes to be acceptable to Christ.
We read blogs that tell us how to be an acceptable mom…an acceptable home-decorator…an acceptable couponer.
And all we want is to be accepted — as we are.
Isn’t it amazing that we are accepted by Christ…as is.
Author and blogger, Shuana Niequist, said this:
True hospitality is when people leave your house feeling better about themselves, not better about you.
The temptation as bloggers is to only tell the world how AWESOMESAUCE we are — with our pictures of amazing recipes, our life lessons and wisdom, or our super swanky DIYs in our loft NYC apartments. And we are awesome. Let me make that clear. If you don’t think you are awesome, you need to renew your mind to the fact that JESUS DIED FOR YOU because he loved your awesome-self so much! We are awesome, because we are created in God’s image! And God IS awesome.
But we need to also showcase how awesome our readers are! We need to be encouraging with our words.
In the comments section, when someone rejoices because they made your souffle (does anyone make those anymore?) make sure you comment back and ask them if they thought of any tweaks or at the very least congratulate them! Or if they said they recreated your DIY, ask them to send you a picture or a link to their blog so you can see it. And go look and comment!
On this #JesusBlogger series, I mentioned Heidi St. John and she jumped online and commented on my blog! I was stoked…I had a little bit of a Mary Katherine Gallagher moment from those old SNL skits. Her words meant a LOT to me. I felt like a blogger superstar.
But we need to bless people with our words not only in the comments section, but in our blog posts. Not only in our blog posts, but in our lives.
As bloggers, we are entrusted with great responsibility. In our grasp we hold the most powerful thing in the world–words.
We can wield them for good or for evil. To hurt or to help. To uplift or destroy. Let’s give our jobs as bloggers the respect it is due and construct our words wisely.