It’s a phrase I used with my oldest daughter the other day.  She had just told her brother that his breath smelled like a stinky old bathtub.  He then yelled at her and called her mean.  She couldn’t understand why he yelled at her.

I said, “The words you use determine the response you receive.”

It’s a little cold in phraseology, and I’m going to keep working on it.  But the principle is huge.

How do you want people to respond to you?  Then think about the words you use.

Call someone a jerk, and they’re going to respond in kind.

Tell someone they’re beautiful, and their response may be an embarrassed thank you.

Use mean, hateful words–and that’s the response you’ll get back.

The Bible makes clear that the way we use words has a huge impact on our lives and relationships with others.  As a father, as a children’s pastor, as a husband, I realize–the things I choose to say, and the tone in which I say them, will determine how those around me react.

So the next time you’re wondering why that person totally blew up at you, think of what you said.  And remember, the words you use will determine the response you receive.

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