A couple days ago, we talked about labels and how there is power in defining someone else’s identity by making a blanket statement about them. Today, I want to share a story from my childhood that illustrates a similar point.
When I was a kid, a certain member of my extended family often exclaimed to me, “Bobby, you’re so clumsy!” It was super-annoying because she would repeat it multiple times and go around saying it to other people. Looking back, the interesting thing is that I don’t think I was (or am) particularly clumsy; however, I would become clumsy around her! When she was near, I would inevitably drop or trip over something, and then she would announce to the “whole world” that I just did this stupid thing and label me yet again! Every time this happened, I became more clumsy — and I don’t think it was a coincidence. Whether we want to or not, we as people (especially children) internalize these kinds of messages and become what others project on us.
Friend, the interesting truth about life is that when you point out and focus on the bad stuff, you get more bad stuff. On the contrary, when you focus on the positive and call out the good in people, you get more of it! Whether with your kids, your spouse, your parents, or your friends, choosing to emphasize what they do right will always yield greater results than tearing them down or pointing out what they do wrong. The mind is powerful, and patterns of thinking are often the direct result of words that are said. This is why it’s critical to speak life, hope, encouragement, and affirmation to the people around you. Your words are your weighty; choose them wisely and they will bring abundant blessings!