The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life. Proverbs 10:11
Are you life-giving? Or lifetaking?
Does what you say fill people up with encouragement and strength, or drain them?
My mom used to always tell me, “Daniel, if you’re not going to say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I wish I took this saying to heart. I wish I lived that way. I don’t want to be a negative Norton! (I think the term is negative Nancy, but I know for sure I’m not a Nancy.) I want to be the guy who uses his influence to bring people life.
Sometimes I even compliment people negatively. Do you ever do that? You know where you say something like, “I really appreciate you because you’re not like so-and-so.” It’s a compliment to one person, but you’re actually saying something negative. I find that I do this a lot when I describe Christian movies. The other day I was talking to someone about the new movie Mom’s Night Out (which FYI — is excellent), and I found that I was describing this as a great movie by contrasting Mom’s Night Out with all of the terrible Christian movies I’ve seen. Instead of being positive about the movie, I was negatively positive.
I figured out why this is the case too, because it’s SO easy to be negative. Negativity comes naturally. Being positive? Not so much. It’s going to take some serious intentionality to be a “fountain of life.” But you can do it. And if you do, you are going to stand out from everyone around you, and end up changing the world. Why? Because remember, the goal isn’t to change the “world” as in the big globe we call Earth. The goal is to daily change someone’s world. And trust me, if you use words to be life-giving, you will DEFINITELY change someone’s world. And chances are, they are going to turn around and change someone else’s world. And the voila — your act of kindness, your life giving words end up changing the entire world too.
So as you approach this week, don’t be a negative Norton or negative Nancy. Use your words to be life-giving.