I have felt very convicted over a 3 word phrase that I probably use every single day. The words aren’t ugly or said hatefully, but I believe the conviction came because they imply an emotion that could be perceived as hurtful.
Wanna know what it is?
“I don’t care.”
Whenever the kids ask me for something, like a snack or to watch a certain show, rather than give a simple yes, I typically say “I don’t care.” I’m not really sure how this came to be and it never stuck out to me until recently. But I don’t like it. Why would I tell my children I don’t care about anything?! Because truthfully, I DO care…about every little thing that concerns my people.
Out of curiosity, I googled the phrase. The results really hit home.
“Saying “don’t mind” sounds very polite and gentle. It’s like the person is saying “It’s ok with me.”; however, “don’t care” sounds stronger and it’s like the person is saying, “It doesn’t matter to me”.”-http://english.stackexchange.com
Synonym for I don’t care-uninvolved
That’s not at all what I mean when I say it! Jesus, help me!
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Prov 16:24 ESV)
While I never intended to be harsh, my careless use of a simple phrase indicates otherwise. Nothing about “I don’t care” is seasoned with grace. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how hateful it does sound.
Ephesians 4:29 has been on my heart fairly often lately and I have to wonder if that’s why the sudden feelings of guilt over my choice of words.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (ESV)
My kids, I’m sure like many of yours, never stop with the questions..
Can I have this?
Can we go there?
Will you get me..?
While the constant requests can be taxing on ones nerves, we should still take care to respond with love and kindness rather than harshness and irritation. I for one don’t want my kids to stop coming to me because they feel they are an aggravation to me.
This has become a habit to me, one that will take some time to break. But I am determined to do better in this area because even the simplest of words have the power to build up or tear down.
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life” (Prov 15:4 ESV)
I want to be that tree.