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Four sets of words that helped

Si Walker, 24th October 2017

Two men at coffee house

Four sets of words that helped

  1. 'You will need this one day.'
    Someone close to me said this when I didn't want to go to church anymore in my early teens, and it stuck with me.
  2. 'You need to believe the new self and not your old self. You need to believe your new identity in Christ.'
    An older friend slipped this into the conversation when I was meeting to talk about how 'badly' things were going for me, about age 25.
  3. 'This will make you a better Vicar.'
    My boss Fergus Pearson after I hit a hard time in my life!
  4. 'Life is short. I blink and I'm holding my first child in my arms. I blink again and I'm holding my grandchild. I blink again and I'm with Jesus.'
    Kent Hughes with his wife Barbara in a talk to hundreds of students, I attended in 2003. This gave me such a desire to serve Christ at the time!
'I cannot think of any object that I have been given that is as life giving'

We carry words with us. They have an enormous potential to unleash good and bad in us. The thing is that many of us don't realise quite how much good we can do with our words. As believers in Jesus we have even more responsibility to use our words well.

James writes, 'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.' James 4:29

Similarly Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue has 'power of life and death.' Isn't that true? I cannot think of any object that I have been given that is as life giving as well spoken words and I'm sure it is the same for you.

My experience is that many people are waiting for someone to reach out to them and invest in them. Younger Christians are often looking for someone to show that they care about their progress as a Christian. I want to say particularly, young men are often looking for older Christian men to speak into their life and not to assume that everything will be ok and someone else will do it. I think I can say this as a young-ish (!) man. The challenge comes to me now with the younger generations.

Sometimes we think of doing that: 'I could say this to encourage so and so,' 'I could write that card...', 'I could share that insight from the Bible...', 'I could tell them they are gifted in this area...'. But something holds us back. I know, because I am guilty of it also! Perhaps we don't feel we know what to say. Well a prayer to God for wisdom and a topical search of the Bible can help! Sometimes it is just a laid back word of advice. It doesn't have to be a lot.

Why not pray today, that the Lord could use you to be the person that shares instrumental and life giving words with others. Maybe they wont be life changing, but they might just be.