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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Say what you need to say.....

There's been a song on the radio for quite some time called, "Say What You Need to Say".  I'm not even sure about who the artist is that sings it, but I always tease with the kids about it because he (the artist) sings the same words over and over...."say what you need to say".....but never says anything else!  I'll mockingly yell out to the radio, "Just say it!" or "Spit it out!".  The kids start laughing and our conversation turns to other repeating songs that never say anything.

Unfortunately in personal relationships, there are often words that we need to say, but we don't.  Maybe it's a personality thing, such as being too shy to talk.  Maybe it's an insecurity thing, such as being afraid to show feelings.  But, maybe it's a pride thing, such as not wanting to admit being needy or being wrong.

I've made a list of phrases that I believe are often not said, but these are also phrases that we shouldn't be afraid to say.  In fact, we should be more than willing to say each of them.

I LOVE YOU
It's always seemed a little bit strange to me that these words can be some of the hardest for some people to say.  Why would we have trouble telling our loved ones that we love them?  I think, though, if you didn't grown up hearing those words, it seems foreign to say them.  You can "show" people you love them, but maybe it would be good to work on telling them too, you know?  Try it!

I AM SORRY
The quickest way to mend a broken relationship is to admit fault and to apologize.  Pride gets in the way sometimes, though, and the words, "I am sorry", have difficulty coming out.  Admitting wrong isn't a sign of weakness.  It's a sign of strength.  It's also a sign of humility - one of Jesus' characteristics that we should try to emulate.

Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't necessariliy mean that any wrong doing was done.  Maybe someone lost their job and lost a loved one.  Saying "I'm sorry." just shows that you care.

I WAS WRONG
Saying "sorry" is the first step towards healing a relationship.  In taking it a step further, when we admit we were actually wrong, we are taking personal responsibility for the problem.  Maybe you weren't wrong, though. In that case, being "sorry" that something happened is enough.

I NEED HELP
I put this one in here for me.  Sometimes it is really, really hard for me to admit that I need help with something.  Sometimes I would rather just do it all myself than to ask someone to help me.  I used to think it was a sense of pride, and maybe sometimes it is, but for me, most of the time I don't ask because I don't want to be rejected.  I don't want to be told no.  If I'm going to have to do it myself anyway, then I would rather do it with a positive attitude than with a rejected-feeling bad attitude.  That's something I must work on!!  I need to keep asking and not worry about the answer I receive.

I FORGIVE YOU
This one is hard some times.  I think of my children when I think about this statement.  Maybe one of them has apologized to the other one about something. Has the other one accepted the apology?  Maybe it's not something that verbally needs to be said, but in our hearts, if someone asks for forgiveness, we must forgive them, mustn't we?  But sometimes we continue to carry a grudge.  Sometimes we want to hold that offense in our hearts.  When we forgive others, we are releasing our control and sometimes that's hard to do.

But, think of our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  If we sin and ask for forgiveness, don't we expect Him to forgive us?  Of course!  That's what the blood of Jesus was for - to continue cleansing our sins.  Do we wait for God to say, "I forgive you"?  Not at all.  We KNOW He forgives us because His Word tells us that He will.

YOU WERE RIGHT
Admitting we were wrong about something is also admitting that someone else was right.  This is being submissive to others and isn't always a natural response in our human minds.  Having a heart like Jesus, as we should, will make this phrase much easier.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME
Asking for forgiveness should come naturally to us, but oftentimes it doesn't.  When we pray, part of our prayer should be asking God to forgive us for any sins we have committed, but also, we need to ask forgiveness from others.  If we have wronged someone - whether intentionally or unintentionally - we should ask for forgiveness.  Remember that asking someone to forgive you isn't a weakness.  It's a strength, just like saying you were wrong.

THANK YOU
It's as if the art or practice of saying "thank you" has died.  Where thank you notes used to be the norm they are now the exception.  Where an attitude of gratitude used to be exhibited when one received a gift, it's now an attitude of expectation.

I don't ever keep a record of who sends me a thank you note for gifts - such as wedding showers, baby showers, graduation, etc. - but I have noticed that sometimes even a verbal "thank you" isn't offered.  I remember taking a full course meal to a couple who had a baby.  It was their fourth child and I certainly understand how busy life is with a newborn.  I didn't really expect a hand-written note at all.  However, I was surprised that the meal was never mentioned - ever.  Make a habit of at least saying "thank you" verbally, whether you take the time to write a note or not.  Of course, a hand-written note is more personal than a jotted text, email, Facebook message, or whatever, but at least say "thank you" in some way.  It doesn't take that much time.

PLEASE
Remember the saying that "please" and "thank you" are the magic words?  Barney, the purple dinosaur, had a song about these magic words.  Saying please at the end of the request makes it sound less like a demand or command.  Saying please is showing that you care about the other person and will most likely give you the results you are expecting.  Saying "please" is being courteous to others.

I CAN HELP
I put this one in here for me, too. It goes with the one about "I need help".  This is the opposite end of the response of rejection that I don't want to hear.  If I ask for help, it would be great if you said, "I can help!".  If we have trouble volunteering to help others, maybe it's because we have trouble committing our time, talent, and resources.  We're afraid if we volunteer for something, we're "stuck".  I know.  I've felt that way before, too.  Maybe we're afraid if I help with something once, we'll be in it forever - without escape!  I know.  I've felt that way before, too.  But, I also know that as 4-H leader and PTO leader, I need help.  There is no way that I can possibly do everything on my own.  My husband is a great helper, but he also has a job and his own responsibilities - just as you do.

So, here is a thought:  try to help when you can.  Try to volunteer as much as possible. When planning your schedule, make sure you're making it with a servant's attitude and not a selfish attitude.  We can all serve more.  Again, our wonderful example is Jesus.  He was a servant - always.

So, this is my list of  "Say what you need to say".  What phrases would you add to the list?

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