Has a flippant/offhand remark made by someone, directed at you, changed the trajectory of your life? The person making the remark may think it is “no big deal”, but to you it crushes your spirit. Or, the person making the remark may think it is “no big deal”, but to you it inspires you to greater things.
I’ve experienced both. It reminds me that our words are powerful. Even when we do not realize it, our words can give life, or death, to someone.
When I was twenty, I asked someone, who had been a leader to me, to pray for me because I was struggling with lust. They promptly laughed at me and told me to “be a man” about it. I laughed along with him, trying to show I thought it was silly as well, but I turned inward with my struggle. His response was a factor that led me into addiction.
A little over two years ago, I was meeting with someone at work and they mentioned that Lead Pastor Mark thought I had the makings to be a Campus Pastor. It was a huge encouragement to hear Pastor Mark thought I could be in such a vital, public role. The remark was a catalyst, I started working and praying toward it. One thing led to another, and now I’m the Online Campus Pastor.
Proverbs 18:21a says it best:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
It’s no wonder Jesus says we will be held accountable for “every careless word” we speak. (Matthew 12:36) There is power in our words. May we use our words for good.