Make Your Mark: Week 4 - Day 3

Opening Prayer

Jesus, open our minds and hearts to hear your word today.  Allow us to know your presence and hear your voice and give us the courage to follow you.

 

Read: 1 Cor 13:4-7 (NIV)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

 

Reflect

On Monday, we considered the power of God’s words to transform: something from nothing, storms to calm seas, broken to healed.

What about our own words and their power to transform?  Have you ever spoken words to someone and impacted their life, either for good or bad, for a significant amount of time?  If you have been around long enough to consider yourself an adult and answered “no” to that question, you are, to be quite honest, oblivious and not at all self-aware.  Sorry to have to tell you.

The words we say have the power to destroy people: Harsh words from a husband to a wife, a parent to a child, a child to a parent, and let’s not even start on middle schoolers.  Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will break my heart.

Conversely, the words we say to others can infuse them with life, confidence, love, vision and on and on and on.  Unfortunately, while hurtful words seem easy to let fly (because frankly sometimes it feels good), words of encouragement and love are easy to withhold.  It takes courage and intentionality to move toward someone and tell them what you see they are good at, what they did that you appreciate or what character quality you admire in them.  This is a ministry to the body of Christ.  God will reveal to you beautiful truths about others if you are listening.  You can give life to those around you if you will speak these things into their life.

Last week I sat for lunch with an old friend.  He recounted a story of when he recently reconnected with someone (call him Jim) from high school. Jim reminded my friend of some words he had spoken when Jim was discouraged.  My friend didn’t remember it at all, but Jim was still impacted by it 40 years later.  Our words have the ability transform.

 

Apply

We have all had occasion to speak careless words that have hurt someone we care about (or maybe don’t care so much about).  What about those moments when we have the opportunity to speak to someone in a way that could lift them up?  What if you had a chance to speak words that might define for someone who God has made them to be?  Are you watching for that moment?  Are you listening for that whisper from God of giving you words you can speak to infuse life into someone?  Do you have the courage to step forward and move toward someone to speak those words?  Can you intentionally fill your speech with the things love is in our scripture: patient, kind, humble, selfless, forgiving, truth loving, trusting, hoping, persevering?

 

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we want to know you, but we are weak and are helpless to know you unless you reveal yourself to us.  Speak to our hearts as we listen for your life giving words and give us the courage to speak them into others.

Terry Schneider