How to use this site   About Us   Submissions   Feedback   Donate   Links - School Assemblies for every season for everyone

Decorative image - Secondary

Email Twitter Facebook


You are what you say

To reflect on the importance of speaking kind words.

by Joanne Sincock

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To reflect on the importance of speaking kind words.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.


  1. Begin by posing the following question and taking a show of hands: How many of you flew in an aeroplane on holiday this summer?
  2. At take-off and landing it is important that the aircrew can communicate with air traffic control. Both must speak clearly to avoid confusion and prevent accidents.
  3. Today I want us to think about what we talk about and how it affects us and those around us.
  4. You’ll have heard the saying ‘You are what you eat’; well it’s probably fair to say that you’re also what you say. What we say often tells others what we’re like.
  5. For example, if you tell lies it shows you are untrustworthy. If you say one thing to one person and something different to another it shows you are two-faced. If you use sarcasm it shows you have a high opinion of yourself.
  6. Sometimes we find that our tongues have a life of their own and can get out of control.
  7. How tempting it is to gossip. (‘Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.’)
  8. How tempting it is to say things to impress other people: swearing, telling crude jokes, and cussing all to be liked by certain people.
  9. How difficult it is at times to control angry words. (‘I lose peace of mind when I give someone a piece of my mind.’)
  10. Remember, you are what you say. It is important that wherever you are and whomever you are with, you should try to control your tongue.
  11. When you are tempted to use angry words, to lie, to gossip or to be sarcastic, you must try to look for the best in people. Speak kind words and give praise and encouragement instead of criticism.
  12. The Bible says ‘Kind words bring life but cruel words crush your spirit.’

Time for reflection


How much do you support people with your words? Are you an encourager or are you a discourager? Do you lift people up or do you put them down? Do you give them strokes or pokes? Do you nag or do you brag? Imagine God were to have a contest and said ‘I’m going to give you a pound for every kind word you said over the last year, but I’m going to take away a pound for every critical word or negative word you said this last year.’ Would you be rich or poor?




Dear Lord,

You know how difficult it is for us

Sometimes to do what is right.

Help us always to fight against the wrong.

Help us to be brave when we are afraid,

To be cheerful when we are disappointed,

To be pleasant when we feel angry.



‘Guess how I feel’ (Come and Praise, 89)

Publication date: September 2005   (Vol.7 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
Print this page