One of the most popular songs from the 60’s British Invasion era was “What the World Needs Now” by Petula Clark. The lyrics stated the world needed love – more love. This was a true assessment of that era and is still in much demand in 2024. Let’s break down the global world to only your sphere of influence. Could your world use more love?

If asked how we could incorporate love into the world, there would be a myriad of suggestions made. I humbly submit my own to you. It may seem too simplistic and cause eyebrows to raise and heads to shake. You may not believe that the power of a kind word would have a great impact on our world and make it a better place!

Proverbs 16:24 tells us that, “pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Words – pleasant, kind, and encouraging words can brighten our mind, will, and emotions, and give health to our bones! AMAZING!

The old school-yard adage, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me” is not true. We’ve all been the kid on the playground that was called names or experienced negative comments and cruel evaluations that affected the core of who we are. They may have marked us by doubting our abilities or how we look or where we belong in this world. That may seem a little dramatic, but words mark us for good and harm.

Scripture tells us that, “life and death are in the tongue”. Our tongue can be used to tear down or build up by what we say. Studies have been done on the power of affirmation. The University of Pennsylvania found that positive affirming words caused changes in brain regions, associated with self-processing, that caused positive changes in behavior. Science confirms what scripture tells us – that words impact our soul (mind, will, emotions) and causes positive effects on our body.

Here is a challenge that we can all be successful at. For the next 30 days, make the commitment to smile, say ‘hi’ to a stranger, ‘thank you’ to a service clerk, or wish someone a good day. Dial it down to your immediate family. Create environments where gratitude is expressed and loving and kind words are spoken. Watch the amazing change that will take place – all because you chose to speak affirming and positive words! You can make a difference in your world. It is an investment that will keep on giving.

Try getting the family involved by assembling a ‘Kind Word’ container for each family member. Fill the container with kind words about that person. Each day, they pull a kind work from the container. I made jars for each of my grandchildren. They, in turn, made a ‘Kind Word’ jar for each of their siblings and for their mom. It was a life lesson for them, to stop and think of kind things to say about their family. This exercise serves as a first step in expressing kindness through written words. This easily transfers this learned skill into verbal affirmations.

Incorporate the ‘Kind Word’ container into your daily family routine. Pause, stay in the moment, and look at their faces as the kind words are read to them. You will find it priceless.

I hope you will accept this 30-day challenge and become a change agent to a world that needs to know someone cares if they live or die. People need to know they are seen and have worth. Let it start with simple words of kindness and encouragement. Start in your home, office, community . . . be known as one who speaks pleasant and kind words.


Deborah McGrew is Executive Assistant at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at or 559-582-1528.