Recently, I heard a Christian speaker remind listeners to be careful of what words are coming out of our mouths. I don't think she used the term "self-fulfilling prophecy" but it seemed to basically be the gist. It reminded me of Mama.
All my growing up years, in moments of frustration, aggravation, etc., Mama would exclaim, "Oh, my aching back!" No, she wasn't actually suffering back pain, at that time. It was just an expression, right?
The speaker's words also reminded me of a conversation I'd had years ago with my aunt when James and Mary were in elementary school. Aunt Anna's sons were older than me and highly successful in their chosen fields. I asked her what the key was.
Words and expectations. She said while they were growing up, my cousins heard words of affirmation and certain things, like college, were non-negotiable.
The Old Testament writer of Proverbs ("Gracious words are a honeycomb,sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24 NIV) and the Apostle Paul (" Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29 VOICE) understood the importance of our words, to ourselves and to others.
This clip from "The Help" speaks to my heart. The speaker embodies the Scripture's message. Nearly always tacked up by my work desk has been, "May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!" Psalm 19:14 GNT. Hopefully, one day soon I will also model it to those around me.