Sunday, January 08, 2006
My dad and other friends of mine are fond of saying that everyone has a voice. Everyone has something to say, and it is worth listening to. I agree. But I will go a step further. I will say what the Bible says, and I believe it to be true. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." It is true that you have a voice to say what you want, but you also have a responsibility to either speak things that are life-giving or death-giving to people. We have all heard that it is bad to call a child stupid all of his youth, and that it will have a large negative impact on that child's outlook on life. We are responsible for the things we say, and since I have become a Christian I have made a concerted effort, to the best of my ability, to speak positive and life to everyone I know. If you want to encourage someone, don't tell them how stupid they are, or how much they messed up. If you want to discourage someone, speak some death into their life. Tell them how bad all their decisions are, tell them how stupid they are, tell them how ugly they are, tell them how wrong they are, and they will begin to believe it. Everyone has the responsibility and power to choose positive life giving words to others. I am not perfect, and I have said lots of things in my life that were wrong and negative, and very much regretted. But I also have a voice to say I was wrong and ask for forgiveness. I am doing my best to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. I have the power to restore the wrong, and try to reconcile the negative. Everyone does. If anyone is listening, I tell you to choose today to speak life giving words and words of forgiveness. If someone is discouraged or wrong, tell them how much you believe in them. Tell them you love them and support them. If someone is sick, tell them that you hope they feel better today than yesterday. If someone is lost on the road, you don't go up to them and tell them what an idiot they are for getting lost and how stupid can you be for making a wrong turn. How about asking where are you trying to go or do you need help reading the map? How about are you thirsty or hungry, or are your feet tired from walking so much? Or how about, I think you can do it, You are getting closer, Don't give up. We should all be someone's cheerleader, who are you going to cheer for today?