My dad was sitting with me at a meeting at my highschool and I was petrified and worried about my life. As my dad sat with me on one side of this table, the principal, vice-principal and some others sat on the other side. My high school career was on the line. My dad assured me before the meeting that he would defend me, fight for me and be by my side, that I would ok. He may have thought nothing of those words, but I NEVER forgot them. At this meeting, the administration was looking to expel me for hitting a teacher the week previous. If I was expelled, my parents would be forced to pay for private education or find me a school that would most likely not help me find my way, we only had one public high school. I deserved the judgment and expected it to go that way. My dad mustered everything he could to keep calm, and he continued to give a defense for me and what I felt was my very life. After much consideration, the punishment was averted to a suspension and repeat of my sophomore year. Tough year, but a year of great lessons, change and focus for me.
My dad spoke words to me that meant a lot to me that day, but it was only when he did exactly what he said he would do that I truly believed him and our relationship cemented stronger from that day forward. I believed that with my dad by my side, I could do anything. That year God turned my life around for the better, I still had a long way to go, but I was In His Grip (how I sign my emails often).
As Christians, we often communicate a plethora of words, but it is when we put it to action where lives are impacted and God changes them. We read this about Peter:
But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” 7 Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. -Acts 3:6–7 (HCSB)
Peter said some words that were powerful, the lame man may never have heard words like this before. Maybe he was even encouraged for those few seconds, but it was when Peter reached out and picked the man up based on those words that we read about the healing taking place.
What if Peter just said the words and continued on? What if the healing never happened but the words were spoken? The lame man would not only be poorer for it but perhaps embittered towards the Christian church. We must be intentional when we speak words of encouragement or faith to people, whether in the church or not. If I tell someone that I will pray for them and I do no such thing; perhaps I say the words, “If you need anything” to someone and then I see on Facebook or hear of a need and pretend I did not hear it. We have to not only keep our word but believe what we speak enough to take action on them.
The power of the tongue is often underestimated, but it is a builder or destroyer.
And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.
7 Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. 10 Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. – James 3:6-10 (HCSB)
May we be intentional with our words so that we act on them more than ever before. This practice will help us stop negative speaking from taking hold because if we become intentional with our words becoming action, we will think twice before choosing what we speak. Go get a hold of someone today and encourage them and act on it!