Since we’ve been talking about words in our services, I thought it would be appropriate to continue.

People are so impressionable and the things people say can stick with us for a long time. Words can build a person up or tear a person down, especially when those people are children. Think about it, kids repeat everything they hear. They act out video games, pretend to be their favorite TV characters, and constantly quote movies. Positive words can help a child soar to amazing places but negative words can affect them in a negative way for the rest of their lives.

Recently, I was waiting for food in a local restaurant and found myself sitting next to a family waiting to be seated. The little girl, who looked to be about 9 or 10 years old, had just finished her last volleyball game of the season and her team had lost. Her family was telling her that in a few years, she would be teaching other little girls how to play volleyball.

During their conversation, the little girl said, “Well, at least I’m good at setting. Me and (she named a teammate) are really good at setting.”

I was amazed at her mom’s response.

“Oh, honey. Neither you or any of the other girls on that team are good enough to set.”

My heart broke for this little girl I didn’t know, who started to cry. The family never apologized, never told her what she was good at. They just told her she would be better later. I wanted desperately to take her aside and tell her she was good and that she could be the best setter anyone had ever seen if she had that desire, but I didn’t. All I could do was silently pray for God to bring people into her life that would encourage her.

The whole thing hit so close to home. I’ve had a lot of awful things spoken over me. I’ve had teachers and coaches tell me I can’t sing, I’m not athletic enoughand I’m not smart enough. I’ve had family tell me I’ve gained too much weight, I don’t belong in our family and that when I grew up I’d “make a great hooters girl.” I’ve been called names, picked on, threatened, rejected. Just emotionally & mentally beaten down. And many of these things

But enough about me. What about you? Have people beaten you down with their words? Have the things people said made it hard for you to see the positive or keep moving forward? If so, I have good news.

They were wrong. Those voices were wrong about me and they’re wrong about you. You are beautiful. You are perfectly and wonderfully made. You are precious to God and perfect in his sight.

Ephesians 2: 10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

So before we speak, let’s think about how people’s words affected us, and be an encouragement to those we come in contact with.