Sunday Reflection: Negative verses Positive

I heard Ruby Payne say recently that it takes six positive sentences to cancel out (replace in the mind) one negative sentence (for a child).  I believe it, but even then I’m not sure it’s that simple.

“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.  What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15: 10-11 (NIV)

Criticism sticks to me like gum sticks to the deep treaded sole of my boots. It takes a lot of digging, scraping and washing the boot to remove that nasty stuff, even then, I can see (or imagine I see) the outline of the stuck gum. For a time, the gum remains an issue, at least in my psyche.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be”. James 3:9-10

Words do hurt. At the time of execution, the critic (a stranger, family, foe or friend) doesn’t care that their words might hurt the one they are criticizing. To them it’s about getting it off their chest or the attention seeking they desire.

We don’t need to say everything we think. We have the choice.

My prayer is this:May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19: 14 (NIV)




Source: Holy Bible,


  1. True, many are looking for attention when they say such things. I don't give it to them and they shut up quick

  2. We are snared by the words of our mouth as well.

  3. Your post is so true. We don't stop and think what our words will do once they leave our mouth.

  4. i'm almost 50 and my mother continues to verbally abuse me with her constant criticisms and cuts. I've never gotten over it, and as a result I'm extremely sensitive to any cut down or criticism, even if said in jest.

  5. Hi Teresa, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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