Words Have Power
Do we realize the power of our words?
Every day, we have the potential to encourage someone, or the power to bring them down.
Hopefully, we encourage others with what we say.
In an ideal world, that would happen 24/7.
Unfortunately, we often do the opposite, and that can get us into a heap of trouble.
Has that ever happened to you?
Perhaps there was something you said that seemed okay, but resulted in an angry response or hurt feelings.
I know. It’s happened to me.
Foot In Mouth Syndrome
Thinking back years ago to when I was a television reporter, I’ll never forget the day the boss called me in for a reprimand.
I had just finished reporting live outside a courthouse in a nearby city.
Everything, I thought, had gone well. I reported the verdict, the attorney interviews, and a thorough account of what had taken place during the trial.
After the report, my cameraman and I packed up our equipment and headed back to the station so I could write an additional story for the next morning’s broadcast.
Thinking all was well, I got on the radio and called the assignment desk to say we were on our way back.
The assignment editor told me that the news director wanted to see me immediately when I came in.
I could tell something was up.
I headed straight to the boss’s office when we got back.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
I sat down, and he closed the door.
My heart started to sink and I quickly searched my brain for what this could be about.
Hmm, not good.
I guess this is not about a raise?
The Power Of Words
Apparently, I said something in my report that made one of the news anchors mad.
“Huh?” I said. “All I did was state the facts.”
The news director wasn’t smiling.
Apparently, during the report, I began answering the anchor’s question with these four words, “As I said before…”
That was it.
The simple phrase, “As I said before,” got me into big trouble.
I had to think back.
In my defense, I told the news director that I had already answered the anchor’s question in my report. I didn’t understand why he was bringing it up again.
It didn’t matter. Apparently, the anchor thought my four words made him look stupid.
Oops. It wasn’t intentional or meant to be mean, but I had screwed up.
Live And Learn
Four seemingly innocent words became another learning experience for me.
When I read through the Bible, I’m often struck by how often the apostle Peter stuck his foot in his mouth.
In Matthew 16:21-23:
*21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”
23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” – Matthew 16:21-23, English Standard Version (ESV).
No matter what, we can and should learn from our mistakes.
It had to be awful for Peter to receive a direct, but well-deserved, rebuke from Christ.
After admonishing him, did Christ send Peter away from His presence forever?
No, He forgave him and used Peter for His glory.
I’m glad we have a God of second (and third, and fourth…) chances, aren’t you?