Cindy K. Sproles is an author and a speaker, whose dream is to do nothing more than craft words that speak from the heart. God's plan seems to be for her to write and teach the craft.  With God’s guidance, Cindy is expanding her horizons. We'll see how He uses her.

Cindy is a mountain gal. Proud of her heritage, she was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains where life is simple, words have a deep southern drawl, and colloquialisms like, "well slap my knee and call me corn pone" seem to take precedence over proper speech. Apple Butter, coal mining, the river, pink sunrises, and golden sunsets help you settle into a porch swing and relax. Family, the love of God, and strong morals are embedded into her life in the mountains. Teaching writers, spinning fiction tales about life in the mountains, history, and down-home ideas find their way into all she does. “I love to write devotions, to seek after the deeper side of Christ, and to share the lessons He teaches me from life in the hills of East Tennessee. I am a writer. A speaker. A lover of God's Word and friend to all.” This is Cindy Sproles. Welcome home to the mountains.

Subscribe to Cindy Sproles' Posts or Newsletter

Recent Posts

Words Have Power

7/12/2024 9:35:00 PM BY Cindy Sproles

You've heard it said hundreds of times, if not more. Your words are powerful. And they are. Whether we say something to our children or a spouse or friend, our words carry a punch.

Everything we say carries impact. It seems these days, fewer and fewer people remember what it's like to cherish sweet words. Folks seem too busy hurling insults and opinions to offer tender thoughts, either written or spoken.

Here's an example: I was flipping through videos on Facebook when I came across a dog video. The dog was a lean, trim treeing hound, and when he reached over to retrieve a toy that floated in a baby pool, his ribs showed ever so slightly. The dog was obviously healthy. His coat glistened in the sun. He was energetic and playful, and a bowl of food sat on a pad next to a water bowl. The pooch was well cared for and, again, obviously happy. As the comments began to roll past, I noticed one lady threatening to contact PETA about animal abuse. She thought that the owners were starving the dog because the dog's ribs showed a tiny bit when he twisted to one side (Note: When the dog twisted his skin pulled tight).

Her comment went on and on, slamming the owners and demanding they remove the video. It wasn't enough that she threatened to turn the owners in to the authorities, but she continued to hurl wild acquisitions and insults that were damning and hurtful. By the time her rant was complete, she was threatening to call child services because if the dog was starved, the kids probably were as well. My point is there was no regard for the impact of her words.

I'm not one for conflict. In fact, I avoid it when possible. I prefer to turn the other cheek and walk away. Oh, this doesn't mean I'm a coward. I stand my ground when necessary, but I choose my battles. I desire to be more diplomatic—that's my personality, a peacemaker. So, I learned years ago just to let things roll off my back. I could sulk in the privacy of my room at home, then be over it. Offer forgiveness and move ahead.

Still, there are times when even a peacemaker's best efforts are challenged.

My publisher recently released my fifth Appalachian novel. I'm blessed that God has heard my prayers to be a writer and has blessed me with the opportunity. When I prayed to be a writer, I told God the glory would be His. I just wanted to be a writer for Him. God said yes. So, when this novel was released a few weeks ago, I prayed that He would use it. Reviews began to roll in, and I received 4.9 stars on Amazon. Readers enjoyed the book and were giving it good reviews.

Here is where I offer a statement of defense. I rarely read reviews. There's no point for an author to read them. Most of the time, the reviews are good, but getting that ONE can be devasting. There were a couple of hiccups in the book's release and the Kindle version with the publisher. Because of these hiccups, the book was falling through the cracks despite the amount of marketing I was doing. I decided to read a few reviews to pull some lines from them and make a few marketing memes.

I suddenly remembered why I don't read reviews. You see, I understand Appalachian historical isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I also understand that there are writers out there who can write circles around me. I'm not naive enough to think I have a perfect product, so I can take a comment about my writing or even about the story and learn from them. That's when I saw I had a 2-star review. Okay, I'm curious now. What did the reader dislike about my book? Apparently nothing since the first half of the review was glowing. Great characters drew me in and kept me there, with lots of twists. Loved the story.

AND THEN, it all went south. This review accused me of writing about paganism, humanism, mixed religions, and new-age teaching. And to finish it off, "This wasn't a Christian book." It should have listed what it contained in the description, and they would have "passed on reading."

This reader not only trashed my novel at the end of the review, but the reader attacked my faith. My heart ached, not that this person didn't like the book, but that they attacked my faith and called me New Age and an antichrist. Oh, my word. An antichrist. It was like someone gut-punched me. I may be a lot of things that I cannot defend, but my faith is not something anyone can attack.

Words. Are. Powerful. And in a world where fewer and fewer people don't understand kindness, goodness, love, and gentleness, those words wield a double-edged sword. Sadly, responding to that post was impossible because the writer had turned off comments, but worse, I couldn't defend my faith. Responding would have only antagonized the writer and called out the ignorance that this person wholly owned. Not only that, but my words would then be equally as damming.

Sometimes, we say nothing, and that speaks stronger than arguing. I shared that review with some of my colleagues, who agreed. Say nothing. Not worth the effort. And though I agreed there was something innately inappropriate about silence.

How would God view me if I didn't defend my faith? Would He think I was a coward, or worse, a lukewarm Christian? Would my request to be a writer and allow Him the glory be like a lit match in the wind? My first mistake was trying to assume what God would think. My second mistake was allowing this review to get under my skin. I'll admit, it was a little bit about pride. I'm human and imperfect — the words hurt. They not only hurt my pride, but they hurt the desire I had to present my best to the Father.

I went to bed that night feeling worthless and broken. That reviewer took all I believed and crushed it. As I sat pondering the harshness of the review, I was sure God spoke to my heart. He asked me—Do you believe that person over me? I have redeemed you and spoken for you. I have engraved you in My palm. Whom do you choose to believe?

I smiled as I was reminded of where my faith really lies. I don't have to defend my faith to the Father. He knows me inside out. He accepted me. Loves me. Teaches me.

It only took a nudge to remember whose words truly meant something.

Before you begin to spew the power of words, stop and think. Ask yourself how you would feel if the words you were about to speak were spoken to you.


Photo 1 Image by Gordon Taylor from Pixabay.com / Photo 2 –Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabaycom / Photo 3 – Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


No events available.