This is one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn quotes and the inspiration for this series. Last week, we looked at the first part of the quote, “For beautiful eyes...” The post also featured an interview with Alexandra Marie, the blogger of Into the Woods!
This week, we'll talk about the next part of this quote, “For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness.” (And have another interview!)
One of the questions I asked the three ladies I interviewed for this series was, “Of the three parts to this quote, which one speaks the most to you and why?" All three answered that this part about words spoke to them the most.
Words are powerful. Have you ever had a bad day completely turn around because of a simple word of encouragement from someone? How about the opposite? Have you ever had a good day start to go downhill because of something someone said, whether it was intentionally hurtful, or just not tactful?
James 3 speaks of the power of words:
Sometimes we just say what comes to mind, not meaning to hurt others, but also not thinking about how it may affect them, and we end up injuring others more than we realize. I see this happen a lot when people are poking fun and playfully criticizing. Everyone laughs and smiles about it, but later on feelings of not being good enough come.
Picture someone punching you in the face. Ouch!
When a physical blow is dealt, we see the damage done. We see the bruised eye, the swollen lip, the bloodied nose. The hurt can't be hidden.
When we speak words, they go straight to the heart. The pain of the words can be masked in a smile, a laugh, but we don't know what damage they may have done. We don't know what hurts they may have inflicted, or what wounds they may have re-opened.
Each person has a past, has struggles and insecurities. Our words could remind them of painful experiences, or feed those struggles and insecurities.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (emphasis added)
Unwholesome means “injurious to health or physical or moral well-being”. As followers of Jesus, we are not to let any talk come out of our mouths that would be injurious to another person, whether they are around to hear us or not.
Rather, our speech should only be helpful and beneficial. I like how in the quote, Audrey says, “speak only words of kindness.”
Growing up (and even now) people would frequently comment about how quiet I am. Sometimes, it would just be an innocent remark. But oftentimes, it was in a negative way... You're too quiet. Why don't you talk more? You really need to stop talking! (in a sarcastic tone.) I don't like quiet.
I am quiet. Well, verbally I am... but my mind is constantly going... thinking, pondering, wondering. And I'm okay with that. It's part of who I am; how God made me.
But words can really mess with our heads... and hearts.
If you hear a single sentence spoken to you again and again, it can get to you. I began to wonder, “Am I too quiet? Is there something wrong with me?” I'd leave times of hanging out with friends or being at Bible studies, and a voice would whisper, “You're too quiet. That's all people think of you. You should talk more or no one will like you.” I'd dream of getting married and having a family, but a voice would interrupt those dreams saying, “You're too quiet. You're not good enough. You need to change or you'll never get married. You need to be more like so and so.”
Most of the times people made those remarks, I don't think they were meaning to hurt. But I also don't think they were really thinking about how those words could touch my heart.
Words can really mess with our hearts. But they can mess with our hearts in a good way, too.
Encouragement can dispel fears. Compliments can diminish insecurities. A simple “you've got this” or “I'm here for you” can give strength to keep going.
God's Word speaks of this several times in Proverbs:
Speaking words of kindness goes hand-in-hand with the subject of last week's post: seeing others as God sees them. When we see others as God does, we will know what to say to help and benefit them.
To gain such lips, we must be in God's Word and His Word must be in our hearts, for “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)
When God's Word fills us and He is the guide in our interactions with others, we will speak words of love to them. And lips that speak love are beautiful.
Today's interview is with Jenna, the blogger of A Beautiful Heart! Jenna's blog is positive and inspiring, and so are the words she has to share with us today!
Jessica - What is your age and how long have you been blogging?
Jenna - I'm a Senior in high school & I have been blogging for two years.
Jessica - Why did you start your blog?
Jenna - I started blogging because I loved the idea of making an online page, one that could be personal and more "me" rather than just a facebook or instagram page. I like to describe blogging as an online personal journal through photos and inspiring words.
Jessica - Name three facts about yourself.
Jenna - a. I'm gluten free because of health reasons. b. I want to become a dental hygienist. c. I'm in love with coffee.
Jessica - Do you have a favorite Audrey Hepburn movie?
Jenna - Yes, mine is Sabrina.
Jessica - This Audrey quote really talks about having beauty from the inside out. What advice would you give to young women about having inner beauty?
Jenna - Inner beauty is something that is so precious and unique. Gorgeous looks are always a bonus, but if your character is poor so will your looks be. I encourage you to focus on the heart and who you are in the image of God. Jesus Christ looks at you from the heart, not the outward appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7b "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Jessica - What advice would you give to young women about seeing their physical appearance as beautiful?
Jenna - I truly believe all women are beautiful no matter of the eye color, hair color, height, personal style, or even the shape of the body. Embrace your beauty, no matter what it may look like to you!
Jessica - Of the three parts to the quote, which one speaks the most to you and why?
Jenna - "For beautiful lips, speak only kind words." This touches me deep in the heart because people will always say hurtful things. Because I know what it feels like to be rejected and hurt, I try to do the opposite and be kind to everyone who walks in my path, because you never know who is going through a tough battle.
Jessica - If you were to add another “For beautiful...” phrase to this quote, what would it be?
Jenna - "For a glowing appearance, love the Lord with all your heart so that He may shine through you."
Jessica - What is your favorite part of dressing up?
Jenna - My favorite part of dressing up would be the way it makes me feel because it makes me feel beautiful, awake, alive, and renewed.
Many thanks to Jenna for sharing with us!
Be sure to stop in again next week for the last part of the series, “For poise..” (I'm very excited about this post!), and an interview with a skin therapist!
Let this be our prayer:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord (Psalm 19:4).