Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Power of Words

We have a couples Bible that has both text and great stories that make the truths of the Bible hit close to home with their real life stories.

I have always known my love language was words of affirmation. You know- the person who loves getting notes and needs to hear what they have done was appreciated? I'm that sort of a girl.

But the best story I have ever heard on the power of the spoken word is the illustration used in our Bible. It goes like this: (Couples Devotional Bible pg: 1131)

Years ago graduate students at an Ivy League college conducted an experiment. First they observed undergraduates until they found one of the most unkempt, most socially inept women on campus. 

They they drew up a schedule each would spend a month getting close to the woman. They would "happen" to bump into her Beeton classes. They would show up in line behind her in the dining hall. They would call her for lecture notes or assignment reminders. Moreover, when each was "on duty" he would compliment her insights, her clothes, express delight in her voice, her talents , her clothes. 

The first student performed well. In spite of his misgivings he began to speak to the woman, finding ways to affirm her. By the end of the month he found his task less onerous as the young woman started to respond. She smiled occasionally, combed her hair more often, and paid more attention to how she dressed. 

The second graduate student took the experiment a step further. He asked the undergrad out on an official date and spent the month showering her with gifts and compliments. 

The third month there was a new glow about the young woman, and the third researcher enjoyed her company more than he cared to admit. When the graduate students got together to share their experiences and laugh at the "progress" of the victim, the third student had to force chuckles through self-conscious embarrassment. 

The fourth member of the group never got the chance to lavish attention on the young woman because by then she was engaged to the man assigned to her during the third month. What started as a cruel and belittling pastime for the students turned into a love story. 

This shows despite the evil intent at the start that when a person receives positive attention both the one who gives it and the one who receives it change.  Imagine the place the world could be if we started giving, real, HONEST praise to others and who they and we might become!

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