How we use Words

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.  ( proverbs 18:21 )  For something that we do so often it is quit amazing how good we can be at times and how bad we can be at times.  We naturally lean to the negative side of using words and that is why it is so important to be working at the skill of words.  Yes, to a certain extent it is skill but it goes much deeper then just a skill and hopefully I can shed a little light on such a complicated subject.

Author Paul David Tripp says in War of Words,” Adam and Eve ‘s ability to communicate in words made them unique in all of creation.  They could take their thoughts, desires, and emotions and share them with each other.  They were like God; they could talk!  By giving them this ability, God was setting the shape of their lives.”

God has given us such a great gift and yet most of the time are words are more hurtful or self-fulfilling then they are helpful.  Why is that?  Have you ever made some of these statements and wondered why?

You make me so angry!

If you hadn’t ______ then I wouldn’t have _______

When ever you do that I just can’t control myself        ( blame )

I wasnt like this before I had children                      ( regret )

If it’s the last thing I do I’ll get you to respect me  ( threat )

After everything we have done for you ….             ( guilt )

Remember that thing you wanted if you do …. I’ll think about it            ( manipulation )

Our communication struggles are not primarily a struggle of technique but a struggle of the heart.  Our war of words is not with other people ; it is a battle within.   Have you ever been around someone who reads books and listen to personnel growth cd’s but there still seems to be something harsh about them.  It is because they have learned techniques and can say the right things but the music that their words make sound like an instrument that is out of tune.   If we are going to understand our trouble with words, we must begin with our  heart.  Our tongues are a restless evil because the ” heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?”  ( Jer. 17:9 )  Word problems reveal heart problems.  The people and situations around us do not make us say what we say; they are only the occasion for our hearts to reveal themselves in words.

If we want to get better with people we need to address the issues of our heart first.  That starts with the desires of our heart.   The desire for success at work becomes a demand of appreciation from the boss.  The desire to have enough money to pay the bills morphs into a lust for affluence.  The desire to be a good parent becomes a desire to have children who enhance my reputation.  We become motivated for the things that bring us pleasure and are angry at any one that stands in our way.

So techniques are important to learn but if you want your instrument to make beautiful sound then you must address the issues in your heart.  This is not an easy task because we are sometimes blind to the events that have caused us scares or we are blind to the issue that the scare has left behind.  Good luck on the journey through your heart.

104 thoughts on “How we use Words”

  1. Our communication struggles are not primarily a struggle of technique but a struggle of the heart. Our war of words is not with other people ; it is a battle within. We are what what we think. The thinking comes from whats inside of us. There is a good story. If you squeeze an orange what comes out orange juice. If you squeeze an apple what comes out is apple juice. Then the question comes out when someone squeezes you what comes out. Negative or positive. Ultimately, the choice is ours. Thanks Bill!!!

  2. Incredible truth when we reflect within to where our words come from.Thank you once again for steering me down the right path and getting me to “filter” my words before I speak.

  3. Lack of communication can be frustrating, but clear communication can make everyone involved feel revived. This is something we have worked hard on and are improving all the time by getting our hearts in line with God’s heart. Compassion, patience, forgiveness and a servant attitude seems to bring situations into focus. We have a lot more to learn, but progress is exciting and motivating when headed in the right direction!

  4. I think this applies to something you have communicated in another way…..Be-Do-Have.
    There once was a blind man to whom sight was given that spoke the truth plainly. “I see men as trees walking”
    Because good fruit comes from good trees.

  5. Great blog!

    You make an excellent point about it being a heart issue and a potential ‘blind’ spot. I love that we have LIFE coaches who can help us identify and work through those issues. The journey is definitely easier when you’re walking with people who have your best interests at heart – and they have successes to share in order to shape your personal perspective.

  6. WOW!!! SO INSIGHTFUL!! This post has so many layers to it. So profound & so true!! Thank you Bill. Now time to peel a few more layers.

  7. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. It help me to see things in a different perspective on a different level. Thanks for your words of wisdom Bill.

  8. Very well put…..I cannot believe the “stuff” that used to come out if my mouth……but reading books such as War of Words, Power of a Woman’s Words, Resolved, Compassionate Samurai, Power of Respect, I could go on and on…thank God I am able to adjust and heal this “heart defect”get were causing the hurtful words…not fully healed…but thanks to these amazing LIFE products and Mental Fitness Challenge…I am well on my way to positive words leaving my heart and tongue!

  9. Tremendous! Once again Bill, you put together a thought process for me to really think about. It’s this type of leadership that’s made me appreciate all the work you’ve put into creating LIFE! Thanks for that!

  10. What an insightful take on the power of our words. May we be effective stewards of this amazing gift that was bestowed on us.

  11. Great article! People dont realize that in order to help others, they first need to help themselves. Great reminder for all of us.

  12. Bill, You hit the nail on the head, or maybe I should say you hit me on the head. I was just thinking this morning I need to listen the LIFE cd “Conflict Resolution” again. Thanks for the reminder of where I need to look for the solution!
    Mike Coulter
    BBNQ

  13. Bill, you hit the nail on the head, or I should say you hit me on the head! I was just thinking this morning that I need to listen again to the LIFE cd “Conflict Resolution”. Thank for the reminder to look in the mirror!
    Mike Coulter

  14. Bill,
    This is an awesome post. It is amazing to me how quickly we can focus on a topic and our vision is blurred by negative. As we go through life we should expect relationship challenges as an opportunity to learn to be a better person. Your post reminds me of EPH 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” Seek first to understand and practice being a good listener. bp

  15. Bill,
    This is so timely. I finally sat down and read through the “No Complaining Rule” from our LIFE subscription and it smacked me around a little bit. In my personal life, our daughter is extremely close to being the top reader in her school, and both of our kids are ranked in the top spellers – they got this from Kendra for sure. Last night I took Lilly, our daughter, with me for some dream building and goal setting at Bass Pro Shop. We both were drooling over the “BIG BAD BUGGY” vehicles and she was really wrapped up in getting a hat. I thought through the $19.00 purchase and decided that since she has blown past her initial reading goal, but is in a heated competition for 1st place. She is close to finishing 3 other books over the next week and testing on them. This will put her well ahead of the 8th grader that just passed her this week. I challenged her to finish the other three books and then test on them, then she can get the hat. I used this to help her do her personal best, but this morning my first thought was “man it is great how good our kids are making us look” and it brought a painful realization to me that my heart was wrong in this matter. After reading this blog I am committed to sharing this with her and letting her know that the goal is her’s to choose, not mine to give.

    Thanks for your insight,
    Daniel Pinkelman

  16. Great Post, Bill! One thing that I have noticed over the last few years of working on and developing my communication skills, is how one word can paint 1,000 pictures! If we asked 1,000 kids to paint a picture of what the word “LOVE” means, we are guaranteed to get 1,000 different pictures! That being said, I have found that focusing on the understanding of the words I use is pertinent to also working on my heart. Sometimes my heart is right, but I use the complete wrong words to get them out…namely because I have lacked understanding of how one word can mean one thing to me and a totally different thing to someone else. Thanks for the awareness of a much need gut and heart check!!
    Larry Allswede

  17. I like the line, “If we want to get better with people we need to address the issues of our heart first”. What an eye opener! Often times people tend to put blame on others, myself included at times, when what I need to do is look at what my heart is aching from triggered by a situation. The more I look at what my heart is hurt from, the better I’ll be able to relate with people. Thanks for this awesome post!

  18. Great post! Similarly, I remember a parenting book and also a CD by Terri that referenced the importance of addressing the heart of our children while parenting and dealing with disobedience. But even more important, as this book says, we must deal with our own hearts first. Great reminder! Sometimes, we need someone to pull the plank out of our eye and whack us upside the head with it!

  19. Bill, Great post brother. The more I see the impact of my words on people around me the more I get convicted of my sin. The more I am convicted of my sin, the more I need the cross. A heart and mind submitted at the cross is the only answer.
    God bless you and keep you
    –thank you
    –venkat

  20. Oh man bill,
    Punch a brother in the gut!! Thank you so much its amazing that I’m reading this right now…
    I’m having so deep issue with my spouse and this message could not have come at a better time.

    Thank you!

  21. Thank you Bill, I must confess that is one of the things that I’m working on. A very good post and a good indicator of the type of people we are following. A true servant of God.

  22. WOW! Fantastic post Bill! I have found that when my words were not filtered through my heart my colors shaded gray in my personality. There was no beauty in my communication. I feel that effective communication always comes back to forgiveness. Usually we try to trick ourselves into thinking we are over an issue, or we aren’t holding a grudge, etc but we never really forgave and it’s heard in our voice when we communicate. Thank you for the reminder that in order to effectively use words we need to PDCA where our heart is at.

  23. Thank you for this ‘how to think’ post, Bill. Much appreciated. I truly enjoyed the DF/system CD by George ( http://georgeguzzardo.typepad.com/ ) , and this tied in neatly with the talk he gave on that audio. All best to you, Jackie & the fam!!

    ( p.s. -> It was a pleasure to meet you when you were in Mansfield in March. Thank you so much for signing my ‘LIFE’ book 🙂 )

  24. Great post Bill, we only have so many words that we will say in this life, why waste them on negative, when we can lift people up with positive.

  25. Bill that quote, “Word problems reveal heart problems,” hit Twitter like s bolt of lightning after I read it. I can think back to the moment I was hit with the astonishing truth that what comes out is only a reflection of what’s inside. That’s a lot to chew on. This blog is an incredible representation of exactly that, we know where your great is. You’re an awesome leader Bill, and we appreciate you man. Thanks.

  26. It takes years sometimes to look at people for there good qualities. To use your heart to talk and your ears to accually lisen is a great compliment to others. Thanks for putting it into words and action Bill.

  27. What a great post Bill! Thank you for the reminder about using choice words. This is something that I have to constantly remind myself of. I understand that the tongue can be of a very destructive nature and I didn’t attribute that to a heart condition. Focusing on my heart condition, I can work towards having more positive thinking in turn leading to a positive attitude.Thank you for sharing this perspective because I see that you are absolutely right. I’m so thankful to have the LIFE products to continue to help me change and head in the right direction. I am also thankful to have my mentors to help us get through the things that we have had in life and to understand that they are truly only circumstances. My mentors are a constant reminder to reframe and have a better perspective on life. They hold me accountable for my actions. I know that I am a better person today because of the influence of them and the rest of the leaders on the TEAM.

  28. Bill, there is so much to this post that you are sharing. We truly must get our heart right when we are helping people. If our heart is not right, even if we have the know how, it still does not matter. Thank you for this valuable post. I look forward to your future posts on this topic.

  29. WOW !!!!! Bill you did an amazing job at putting this into words. The more I get to know you the more I am amazed at your level of understanding. If I can apply this at the same level my communication with everyone I care about will sky rocket. Thanks Bill Very well put!!!!

  30. Bill thank you for sharing this truth! How the words we use and when we use them show what is happening inside our hearts!

  31. Hey Bill, thanks for writing this article. You gave a great talk about it on the Director’s call and reminded me not only how powerful the tongue can be but also the source it comes from, whether for good or bad. It’s just another great reminder that if we keep our hearts right the tongue will always speak what’s right. God Bless!

  32. To come here and be humbled is a true Blessing! I am new to LIFE (about a month old now) and your words are ringing in my ears. I will admit when I signed on as a member, the thoughts and words coming out of my mouth were not always so positive. I have a sarcastic side to my personality and although it may be funny to those around, it is not necessarily funny for the one the comment was said about. I am happy to report that since I have been devouring the CD’s and have been trying to grow as an individual, I have tried to stop and think before I speak. I only want words of encouragement, love and support to come out of my mouth. I will ask those members of my team to hold me accountable for this personal goal. I think Bill is right on track when he speaks of the words coming out of our mouths really coming from what is in our hearts. When I joined LIFE, I was not a happy person (although I was very good at “acting” happy). Since spending a lot of time with Kristi Cortazono, Adam and Ashley Robertson, and of course, Jeff and Patrice Caldwell, I have found so much love in my life again, all I want to so is share it with the whole world! I am so Blessed to have been given this opportunity to learn from others with wonderful hearts. I am so glad that is contagious! I only hope I can repay them by helping others the way they have helped me. Thanks for this post Bill…Great Job!

  33. Bill when you were talking about the power of our words the other night on the call I know in what we do it is the most important and powerful act we do to help people move ahead in Life. Our hearts have to be right in order to lead a big community of people and you and Jackie are great examples of having your hearts right and leading from the front. I appreciate you putting this post up for all of us to come back to for perspective.

  34. Amen, no matter how many times we get knocked down, with your heart in the right place people see truth and come join us in our journey to a million. Our PC’s hearts speak truth, one by one if we all work on ourselves from the inside out we can affect the world with the words of Life.
    Thanks for leading the charge Bill

  35. Well put Bill! If we can get our hearts right then our words will have joy instead of pain, as you stated…”Our communication struggles are not primarily a struggle of technique but a struggle of the heart”. Words are very powerful and it’s what a person hears everyday. Question is will we learn to build up or tear down. You’re article can help in the healing process. Thanks again.

  36. Great post Bill! I sure needed this reminder! It’s also something I need to definately teach my children…..daily heart checks!

  37. This is an area where I am constantly studying and trying to grow as it relates and impacts every area of my life. I really enjoyed what you shared here as well as on the director call. Thanks for taking the time to grow yourself and share your thinking with others so we can do the same!

    1. What a profound concept Bill. I never realized the impact our words had on others. I grew up with “sticks and stones may break my bones but name will never hurt me.” I literally thought that the words, names, and comments I said shouldn’t really bother anyone. Wow, was i wrong! that’s why I didn’t have many friends. Thanks for your wisdom Bill. It is so refreshing to read your thoughts and hear you speak. Godspeed on your journey to 1 million!

  38. This is amazing. I never really thought about the depth of how God created man and allowed them to transfer their thoughts, feelings, and ideas by using words. And Life and Death lie in the power of our tongue, its amazing how many people (including myself) don’t realize the true power of words. Thanks Bill!

  39. Me siento bien bendecida de poder tener la informacion correcta y al mismo tiempo poder compartirla con mas gente gracias a lideres como ustedes muchas gracias bill y jackie por ser excelentes ejemplos a seguir dios los bendiga en esta gran jornada.:-)

  40. Great subject! The words do come from the inside, and that is why I love that the Mental Fitness Challenge starts with Private Victories first. It’s an inside job. We’ve seen people right before our eyes get a picture of their purpose, or at least a new hope, and then the heart softened and words became less hurtful as they continued to work on the inside issues that drive this subject.
    Thanks

  41. Great Post Bill! It is amazing how quickly the words come out and how long it can take to repair the damage if the words are not in check.

  42. Thank you for sharing that Bill, i really like how you just get to the root of the problem, that is an area that i battle with but thanks to your leadership and our life products i now have a weapon that i can and am using. I am so thankful for our GREAT leadership.

  43. Bill, thank you for taking the time to write both about the mental fitness challenge and the power of our words. To me both subjects are related. The MFC helps people define where they are at in their life and brings them to an understanding of their current life situation. Our words can do the same thing. When we have negative self talk, we are stuck, in a holding pattern or even sliding backward. There is no personal growth. When we speak negatively to others we inhibit them as well. It is only when we speak kindly to ourselves and others that growth happens. Goodness beget goodness and it takes courage to look critically at ourselves and create the change we want. Thanks again for your time and sharing.

  44. Bill,
    Agreed, too many words are spoken that can never be taken back.
    Thanks for making us stop and think more often!
    Ryan & Kerri Ousley

  45. Bill, thanks so much for reminding us how much words affect people. Your insight gives me so much to think about. I truly need to think about how hurtful my words can be sometimes! Thanks so much!

  46. I tried to listen to some music I “liked” from my youngerdays and was offended for myself that I would ever think that music was acceptable. I truly appreciate this post knowing that the damage negative words creates is a true ripple effect. Im blessed to be a part of a group of people changing the tide! Freedom!

  47. That is soooo me. The last week of April, I was made aware that my words were more hurtful than helpful. Even after a few weeks of conscious effort to improve, I unwittingly said something (via text, easy to be taken out of context) that turned into a knock down-drag out argument! I thank God for the tools and mentor-ship to improve my communication skills!

  48. Bill, thanks for the reminder that we need to be feeding good things to our heart so that out of it will flow the kinds of words and actions that we wish to be remembered for!!

  49. I grew up being taught to always use nice words to others, and I usually tried to do that. However, no one ever taught me the importance of the words that I speak to myself and about my self. I am struggling to give myself the same kind consideration that I would give a friend in conversation. Thank goodness TEAM has taught me how important my words said outloud, in my head, to others and to myself really are!!

  50. Thank you for the reminder Bill. God has ways of showing us what we need to read, when we need to read it. Chris Brady (on one of his recent CD’s) said that “if you think back to deepest pain you have ever esperenced it’s probably a realational problem” (not perfectly quoted). Often times it might not even be something that someone does, but what someone says that puts up walls between two people.

    As Amy Marks says quite often, “Women are the thermestat for their homes.” How true. It’s time to get myself out of the way and let the Lord work on my heart and enjoy LIFE’s journey by living out the very words of Orrin Woodward, “Edify, Unify, and Work Ethic.”

    Thanks for sharing what’s on your heart!
    God Bless

  51. Thank you for the reminder Bill. God has ways of showing us what we need to read, when we need to read it. Chris Brady (on one of his recent CD’s) said that “if you think back to deepest pain you have ever experienced it’s probably a relational problem” (not perfectly quoted). Often times it might not even be something that someone does, but what someone says that puts up walls between two people.
    As Amy Marks says quite often, “Women are the thermestat for their homes.” How true. It’s time to get myself out of the way and let the Lord work on my heart and enjoy LIFE’s journey by living out the very words of Orrin Woodward, “Edify, Unify, and Work Ethic.”
    Thanks for sharing what’s on your heart!
    God Bless

  52. Solid advise, thank you for the life changing information. Our words are more powerful than we know.

  53. War of Words and now your blog have meant alot to me in my life today. It is so true that what we speak can influence others positively or negatively. We are constantly searching for ways to speak the truth in a positive way. It is a constant battle and am thankful daily to be a part of a group that things like you do. I look forward to the next addition to your LIFE blog..thanks, Bill.

  54. The comment about the person who is learning to speak to people but still sounds harsh is a wonderful discription of someone learning a craft but not getting to know the artist. Like a piece of art, if one studies to understand the artist, then the piece of art might be understood. Because God gave us the gift of speech, it is only He who can help us to use our words for good, thereby glorifying Him. I have found it to be so true, that as I search to understand the Lord, His love for me, and His purpose for me, my words are becoming a sweet smell to His nostrils, and a beautiful sound to His ears. Our words can make a huge impact, and once they are out of our mouth, you can’t take them back. We can use them to uplift others, or tear them down. They can be self-serving, or edifying. Get to know the Master, and watch (or listen 🙂 how he changes you!……great thought provoking post Bill! Thank you!

  55. I’m just writing to let you understand what a notable experience my friend’s girl obtained reading your site. She picked up too many details, which include how it is like to possess an incredible helping nature to get a number of people effortlessly fully understand some very confusing things. You actually did more than visitors’ expected results. I appreciate you for offering these insightful, safe, explanatory not to mention easy tips on the topic to Evelyn.

  56. Thanks Bill I really needed to hear that I know that it’s one of my weak areas and one of my blind spots. I love our PC as they always seem to hit the mark and blog about things that help us all move forward as a team

  57. Another home run Bill this blog could not have come at a better time. It’s something I know I need to improve in thank you for having the guts to stand in the pocket.

  58. Great message, I love learning the remedies to areas that need attention in my life. I will embrace the journey that fixing them entails. Fix my heart fix my words 🙂

  59. Great post Bill. Seems like the people who have peace and success in life all seem to have their hearts right. Unfortunately it is also very easy to spot people who’s hearts are in turmoil. We have some work to do because all people want and deserve that peace. mm

  60. This was a great Blog for me to read today. I’m reading about our words now, and studying them with The Word. I can see that a change in words toward others, even the right words, isn’t the same as developing a gentleness of the heart.
    Thanks for sharing this encouraging writing!

  61. Thanks Bill for writing this. I’ve been struggling with this in my own family lately. It seems all they want to do is tear everyone down. We need to start focusing on lifting everyone up as in tearing others down doesn’t make them better or us.

  62. great subject, everyone can work on this area, things would be alot different in our society if more people thought about this and did something about it

  63. As I look at my family and the communication we have drawing it back to our hearts is the key for understanding. Thank you for your leadership.

  64. Our communication struggles are not primarily a struggle of technique but a struggle of the heart….. wow!!! great information Bill!! thank you!

  65. Bill. Words do kill. It is crazy to think that it all comes down to something so simple and yet so profound…and something each of us has so much control over. Great posts. New one soon please.

  66. Hey Bill, Thank you for sharing this with us. George Best played Soccer for Manchester United… (was just listening to your MFC CD)

  67. Here’s a link to the IAB about page. http://iabusa.com/about.html There’s a couple things that stood out to me about this company that made me think this is no small thing. One is that it costs a couple hundred to get involved so that meens that not just any average person gets involved and also the vice president of the united states wrote them a letter to thank them for there work and to keep it up. Oh and Steve Jobs got there technology award last year.

  68. We love what you stand for Bill. We are truely blessed with your leadership and knowledge of the business. We are truely looking forward to getting to know you better in the near future. Ad & Mimi

  69. Thanks Bill, great post, I love using funny words to break a situation, a smile , laughter does remove edge. Words spelled backwards is Sdrow, hmm..maybe Holger can Interpet..

  70. Bill,

    Thank you for your words. It was an amazing help since you helped me understand where my desires came from. It’s not about knowing how to talk, but WHY we speak that will change the outcome of the conversation.

    You’re amazing.

    Keep your heart clean!

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