do the mathSome days it’s more challenging than others to make our words count for the positive and good. I know for me, sometimes my way with words just gets in the way. Sometimes I let my quick wit or well-reasoned opinion overshadow patience and kindness in dealing with others.

Take for example my communication tussle with a discount airfare company. After several attempts to book a flight online, I called the company’s customer service number, and well, I lost my patience. I tried to remain calm and even paced in working through the overseas language issues and essentially being told a lie. But I could feel my words intensifying with a sharp tone. “This is not working for me. This is not good business. I’ve already wasted 45 minutes . . .” I barked before harshly hanging up.

A Galloping Tongue

I felt a check in my spirit as I was winding up to tell the ticket agent that his company was incompetent. I ignored the pestering nudge. Instead of bridling my tongue, I let it gallop across a pasture of justifications. How dare this reputable company brush me off? I have a right to fill out all my address and credit card info, press “agree and book,” and have everything work smoothly. Blah. Blah.

Maybe you’ve swirled in a similar expectation game where your words morphed with sharp edges. 

I appreciate a close friend who shared her principle of using words and a kind demeanor to ADD to someone’s life vs. SUBTRACT from this person. 

With the airfare company, I did not ADD to the customer service person’s life with my impatience and tough-girl tongue. I regret that I SUBTRACTed from his day and perhaps his favor with the boss. Sigh.

Fortunately, I’m learning that each day is a new day to be more intentional about the beneficial rule of ADD and SUBTRACT. When we ADD to someone’s life with our words, we also ADD peace and contentment to our own lives. And, we move forward less encumbered. 

ADD Up the Positive

Math was not my favorite subject in school, but this type of buildup or teardown equation counts for peaceful relationships and a joyful countenance no matter what circumstances jostle into our days (even malfunctioning websites).

Wouldn’t it be wild if we had to use a calculator at day’s end to ADD up the positive, helpful words we thought and spoke to others? One thousand one, one thousand two . . . .

“May the words from my mouth and the thoughts from my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my defender” Psalm 19:14 (God’s Word).