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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Speak Life

I have written about the power of words and the reality we can hurt and be hurt by what is said.

One of the benefits of age is I have mellowed a lot and have learned to harness my tongue at times. I did not say control it, because I have not progressed to that point and most likely never will.

That being said, my goal today is not to do harm to anyone to the best of my ability and that most definitely includes the way I say whatever it is I choose to say.

Even so, it seems many people are intent on inflicting as much pain as possible with what they say. The primary motivation is validation. This requires anyone who chooses to disagree to be shouted down, ignored, or silenced.

Of course, this is never going to work as people on every side of any issue are equally passionate.

So, what can we do? How can we live in a world where everyone is shouting at each other, and no one is being heard?

We start by striving to “speak life” over others. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, to “speak life”, I must care about the life of the ones I am speaking to.

Most of us would say we care about others, even as we rail against those we disagree with. This is oxymoronic because I cannot care about someone when I am unwilling to hear their perspective without shouting them down.

If this is true, there is certainly no way I can care enough to “speak life” to them.

In today’s virtue seeking world you would think speaking life would be a priority. Unfortunately, we do not have to look far to see this is not the case. In fact, most of us are so consumed with our points of view, we do not want to hear someone else’s, let alone “speak life” over them.

Where do we go from here? How do we set aside our passions long enough to see value in another’s point of view?

We start by seeing people the same way God does, uniquely and wonderfully made. If we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we see them as in need of the very one we have accepted. This should not be as difficult for us as it is, simply because Jesus went to the Cross for everyone, even the ones we are appalled with and repelled by.

How is this possible?

Well, all I need to do is look in the mirror and see how far from perfection I am. When I do, I realize before my relationship with Jesus how appalling and repelling I must have been to a perfect and sinless God. The beauty is, this is a very human perspective and how I saw myself before Jesus. This is not how He saw me or how He sees everyone.

How amazing is the Grace available to a world that offers none to each other.

I will close by saying, I have not always been able or willing to “speak life”, and I am sure that will continue to be true. But I do know I am a work in progress, and I am progressing.

For the first time in my life, being willing to “speak life” is something I desire. This is because I finally see value in others I never saw before. This is because my Lord speaks life over me every time, I pray and open His Word!

To follow Him means, I must learn to “speak life” too!

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