It takes so little

The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom.  Proverbs 10:21

A teacher asked her class what each student wanted to become when he or she grew up. One by one they answered. One was going to be the president, another a fireman, another a teacher, and so on. Then the teacher asked Billy, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “Possible,” replied Billy. “Possible?” queried the teacher. “Yes,” Billy said, “My mom is always telling me I’m impossible. So when I grow up I want to become possible.”

We laugh, but we know of parents who put their children down instead of lifting them up (sometimes we’re those parents). That’s why we should think about what we say. For if we use words recklessly, criticizing and carping about the failings or shortcomings of our children, we’ll shrivel their spirit.

So watch your words. Encourage children so they won’t become “hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” Hebrews 3:13. Nourish them with what you say (cf. Proverbs 10:21). Stimulate them and give them approval and help. Give them “an apt reply … a timely word” Proverbs 15:23. Inspire them with confidence and courage. And use your words to bring healing, health and sweetness into their lives (cf. Proverbs 16:24).

It takes so little to make a child sad,

Just a scornful word, a heartless jeer,

Just a contemptuous look on a face held dear;

And footsteps lag, though the goal is near.

It takes so little to make a child sad,

Just a caustic tongue or a wearisome glance,

Just a shoulder shrug brings sufferance;

And the spirit retreats when it could advance.

But it takes so little to make a child glad,

Just a kindly word, some heartfelt cheer,

Just a friendly look drives away the fear;

And the chest puffs up, when you draw near.

Yes, it takes so little to make a child glad,

Just a cheering clasp of a friendly hand,

Just a simple hug shows you understand;

And the child’s encouraged as God has planned.

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