Have you ever noticed how something beautiful can change a person’s whole demeanor? I was thinking about that a couple of days ago at the girls’ dress rehearsal for the dance recital this weekend. Miss J was just about dressed in her ballet costume but was missing a single piece. It didn’t matter what I told her – she knew she was not ready until her hair decoration was in. Once it was in, she settled and said “I’m finally ready.” She was at peace once that beautiful hair decoration was in place.
Words do the same thing to our attitudes, don’t they? An angry word or a snippey one or a frustrated one – they push our attitudes over the wrong edge. But if we slow down and choose a peaceful, calm word the whole tenor of a relationship can change. Something beautiful, carefully spoken, can brighten and lift someone’s day. Maybe your own.
That is why this hymn is one that crosses my mind often. I struggle with tone of voice often. Add in some stress, such as a weekend crammed full of having to track a clock and be at certain places at specific times and not having a whole lot of excess time built into any of it and I forget to check my tone of voice. Things come our angry and stressed way too easily.
words & music: Horatio R. Palmer (1867)
Angry words! O let them never,
From the tongue unbridled slip,
May the heart’s best impulse ever,
Check them ere they soil the lip.
Love one another thus saith the Savior,
Children obey the Father’s blest command,
Love each other, love each other,
’Tis the Father’s blest command.
Love is much too pure and holy,
Friendship is too sacred far,
For a moment’s reckless folly,
Thus to desolate and mar.
Angry words are lightly spoken,
Bitterest thoughts are rashly stirred,
Brightest links of life are broken,
By a single angry word.