Turning Concern into Confidence
In times of crises, words are especially important. Across America today there is both a public and private crisis of confidence, due in part to a war of words taking place in the public square.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Do our words promote health? Do they heal others by kind encouragement, wise counsel, and gentle comfort? Or are our words like a piercing sword? Do we leave others bleeding with caustic, critical, calloused, or condemning words? And do we then pour in salt, when we are told to only season our speech with it?
Just this week, ABBA surveyed our community asking: what are you basing your decision to attend public events? It may not be astonishing to hear that 77% responded: I will go when I don’t feel my own health is at risk. There was only slight agreement, by some, that they would attend a public event when the government says its ok, or when facilities comply with social distancing or even still when the economy is stable.
All leaders and people with influence must be wise in how we speak to people.
So, what does all of this mean? In times of uncertainty and confusion, feelings often rule our emotions. What we want in such times is clarity and confidence so we can make wise decisions. Therefore, ALL leaders and people with influence must be wise in how we speak to people. The happy result of pleasant words are felt in both body and soul.
Years gone by, I was a young Green Beret in the jungles of Central America. We traveled over 30 miles across dense terrain and I can still remember the words of our Team Sergeant: “You men are amazing, we’ve done it, almost to our objective.” I cannot tell you how much those well-timed words meant to all of us. I actually felt a surge of energy run through my body combined with an increased sense of assurance that we could and would overcome any and all obstacles we faced together.
Words: a person’s face glows by their instant effect, and energy and vitality are restored to those cast down. You create such words when wisdom guides your speech. The Lord Jesus could cut and confound the Pharisees when He needed, but His disciples knew Him for gracious and healthful speech. His gracious words at Nazareth caused the whole crowd to wonder. And the hearts of two disciples burned joyfully from His precious words on the road to Emmaus.
Our spiritual condition is inseparably connected with our physical life. People need leaders who understand what we feel but who are also able to move us from fear toward a path of confidence. There is great power in the tongue. How will you and I use it today? You will eat the fruit of how you use it – life or death. Every man shall bear his own burden.