Wednesday Wisdom Tip – Put it Back!

Want to win $20?

It’s a question I often ask when trying to get a volunteer at a “Revolutionary Love” conference.

Here’s the trick. I ask the brave girl who comes forward to completely empty the tube of toothpaste I hand her. After she has created the gooey blue pile, I inform her that she will now need to put all back in the tube…then she’ll win the $20.

You can imagine her expression! It is impossible to put it back; the same is true with our words once they escape our mouths.

This little exercise is a great way to demonstrate the power of words. We grew up hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  So not true! Sticks and stones create physical pain, but words have the power to wound or empower. Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue has the power of life and death; that is some pretty amazing power.

In my home, my girls and I have a pact. If I catch them gossiping about another, I get to point it out. The opposite is also true: if they catch me gossiping about another, they respectfully point it out to me as well. I have found this to be a good way for all of us to be on guard about the words we say about another.

Proverbs 16:28 tells us “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” Let’s be women who demonstrate each day to our girls that we understand the power of words and are purposing to use our words for good.



  1. Lynn,
    My husband and I just started our parenting group — so excited!!! We have a tall stack of reference materials, including your book!!!!! The group is excited. I can’t wait to see what happens when families are radically changed by LOVE!!!! 🙂

    Love this simple demonstration. Thanks, as always, for sharing your heart and passion.

    In Him!!!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing HRL with your group, Karen! Be sure to tell them about the free leaders guide and other resources under my “freebies” tab.

      I used this example last night with my daughter. She was heading to a softball meeting where the team was going to be discussing what was broken and not working. I just could not imagine what was going to be said in a room with 11 9th grade girls! I had my daughter tell me, “What can’t you do when you squeeze all the toothpaste out?” It helped prepare her to do more listening than talking at the meeting!

  2. The toothpaste analogy is perfect! Words really can’t be put back once spoken. Why are we girls so eager to say so much?! It’s really hard to remember to listen and think before talking, but we CAN model this for our daughters. Thanks for such a good word picture to demonstrate this truth!

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