Yesterday, I wrote about powerful words. Now I want to take a look at weak words. Words that have the tendency to rob us of our potential, sap the strength from our relationships, and hinder our ability to live for that which we were created.
Same rules apply. No proper names. It would have been easy to take pot shots like “Georgia Tech” or “Switzerland.” But I’m not going to stoop that low. I also forbid myself from choosing the word, “weak” because, well, thanks, Captain Obvious.
- Maybe (this is a total cop out. Stop saying it. Just say what you mean: “No.”)
- Cannot (There are certainly things we shouldn’t do. And there are things we can’t do. But the list of things we can’t do is far smaller than we think it is. And for followers of Jesus, the list has one bullet point: you can’t limit God.)
- Quit/leave (easiest thing in the world to do is walk away when things get tough. It takes true strength to hang in there when things go sideways.)
- Me (the only time we should use this word is when we say, “forgive me,” or when we pray, “God, use me.”)
- Hate (this word should be eliminated from our vocabulary. There are things that are worth hating in this world. Things like slavery and hunger and extreme poverty. But the word itself is so dark and negative. Like a black hole, it sucks in everything around it and cripples positive response or counter-action.)
- Try (this may surprise you. But this is another cop out word. As Yoda taught, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Don’t try. Go. Do. Work. Act. Change.)
- Bully (nothing weaker than a person who uses their position of strength to take advantage of someone else)
- Neutral (staying here will never get you anywhere)
What words would you add?
What is it going to take to begin to eliminate these strength-sapping words from our everyday vocabulary? And even more importantly, how are we going to begin to change the attitudes and fears that are behind them?
Weak words are a waste.
Later today: Fun words to say
Tomorrow: Misleading words