Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...there is power in the tongue

RIDDLE: What can taste sweet but have a nasty odor? ANSWER: Our tongue!

It is amazing that the same thing that enjoys sweet and delicious things such as a plump, juicy, ripe strawberry can be the same thing that spews out a foul and nasty odor such as the smell of dead fish. Our tongue not only has the ability to recognize good taste from bad, but it has the ability to speak good or bad. There is power in our tongue!

I came across an illustration recently that clearly explains why some people use their tongues as daggers:

“An advertisement appeared in which the devil was putting all of his tools up for sale. On the day of public inspection, each one of his tools was marked with its selling price: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on, were each on the block. Set apart, however, from all the rest of the pile, was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn, but priced very high — it was discouragement!

Someone asked the devil, ‘why is that one priced so high?’ He replied, ‘Ah, that one is more useful to me than all the rest. With it I can pry open a man’s heart and enter, when I cannot get near him with any other tools. Once inside, I can lead him any way I choose. The tool is very worn because I use it on almost everyone, since few people know it belongs to me.’”

The enemy loves to sow discouragement — but believers have a tool much more powerful — encouragement! In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "Who is the last person to encourage you?" The top 3 responses were...

1. 44% of those voting said it was their spouse.
2. 33% voted and said a friend.
3. 11% responded and said a parent recently encouraged them.

I wonder if I had changed the poll around to say "Who did YOU encourage last", would the results would have been different? One of the things that I noticed about this weeks poll is that nobody said that they had been encouraged by a stranger. Yep - 0% on that one. That made me think about the sales clerk in Wal-mart who is having a really bad day ... do I encourage her? It made me also think about the airline employee who just got their face ripped off by the disgruntled customer in front of me ... how did I encourage them when it was my turn at the counter?

God places opportunities in our path every day to speak "life" into others, but somehow we miss it many times. We have our thoughts on our busy schedules, the kids ballgame later, what to cook for dinner, etc. We are focused on what is in our world instead of recognizing that ministry of encouragement to someone who is in desperate need.

HEBREWS 10:25 "Do not forsake the assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."

I want to be an encouraging Christian, not just to my family and church friends, but to the strangers that cross my path each and every day. It's time that we show the enemy that his tool of discouragement is not worth much anymore because we have no use for it!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Amen! I want to be an encourager and chase that discouragement away!