Our words hold power.
The language that we use to talk about ourselves, others, and the settings we find ourselves in matters. And it would seem that the world of neurolinguistic programming is catching up to that which God has been telling us for centuries.
"It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke. . . " (James 3:5-6 MSG)
The words that we speak have power—this is simultaneously exciting and terrifying! Get it right, and we breed life, hope, joy, peace and love. Get it wrong, and we tear down, hurt, or destroy. I want to highlight a word that we often wield without realising the damage it inadvertently yields:
I should. . .
You should. . .
They should. . .
How many times a day do you find yourself inadvertently speaking out 'shoulds'? It's been shown that nobody grows under the burden of critical or negative words. 'Should' falls into this category. It maybe that our 'shoulds' have been inherited from someone else's idea of what right living looks like, or perhaps we've imposed it on ourselves.
Here's a simple switch to bring relief to the unnecessary burden of 'should'.
Switch it out for 'could'.
You could. . .
He could. . .
They could. . .
Instantly, using 'could' instead of 'should' relieves pressure. Using 'could' allows us to pause long enough to check in with Jesus and ask His opinion on the matter. It encourages us to show grace to others and takes away rigidity and rules.
Why not give it a try and see how changing one simple word can reframe your perspective on a situation.
Let me know how you get on!