Month of June 2018
On May 8, my daughter sent me an article written by David Griner about a study Ikea conducted with plants. Ikea and Memac Ogilvy Dubai wanted to prove that even a potted plant could suffer from the effects of bullying, so they brought a demonstration to GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai. In the school, one plant from Ikea was played recordings of negative, hurtful comments, such as “You’re not even green” and “You look rotten.” The other plant listened to recordings of positive comments like “Seeing you bloom makes me happy.” There was even a video to watch about the 30 day case study. Both plants were treated the same. The only difference was one plant heard compliments and words of encouragement while the other was verbally bullied with hateful words. The difference in the plants were remarkable. Those who heard positive words were healthy and green. Those who heard negative words were wilted, brown and dying.
IKEA’s leadership team says it hopes to extend the project into other schools: “It has helped children understand the impact that words can have,” says Vinod Jayan, managing director of Ikea. “It was so successful in driving awareness and reducing bullying amongst these children that more schools have approached us to conduct the experiment at their locations.”
Of course there are skeptics, but I believe in this experiment. Plants are living organisms created by a Creator who spoke everything into being…and it was so. Words are powerful. As Scripture says, “There is life and death in the power of the tongue.” Words can either build up or tear down. All of us have experienced either being built up or torn down. It is my prayer that we as the body of Jesus Christ use our words wisely. May our words encourage and build up the life of another and the life of our church. Ask yourself, “Have the words I have used today been life giving or life draining?” Remember what it did to the plants.
During the month of June and July we will journey through part of the book of Acts. We will discover how God began the movement we now call the church. In the process of seeing how the church began, how it grew, and how it overcame fierce opposition, may we receive fresh inspiration to continue the church’s mission today.