Focus on faith

Tim Schroeder is a pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna.

I am going to attempt a very difficult task. I am going to try to convince you of something you almost certainly don’t believe. You suspect it might be true of others but it is definitely not true of you.

Here goes: “You have an incredible amount of power and influence!”

I told you that you don’t believe it. Deep inside most of us don’t believe we hold any power. We tend to see ourselves as victims; victims of big government, victims of big business, victims of big people and victims of big Deities.

Convinced of our powerlessness, we make our way through life reacting to whatever circumstances are thrust upon us by those we believe do hold the power.

I don’t believe that is how God intended for us to live. I believe we have all been given both freedom to choose and responsibility for the choices we make. He has given us the power to initiate not only to react.

With that as the premise let’s put it to the test. For a test case I am going to focus on one specific area of life and ask you to evaluate your ability to influence it. The trial case is this: Evaluate how significantly you can impact the environment around you by carefully choosing the words you speak. It is no more complicated than that. Your words have power and if you choose your words carefully you can impact everyone around you.

I am basing my premise on some principles from the Holy Bible. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 15:23 says, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word.” Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

The words we speak in any situation can powerfully impact those around us and transform the climate of our homes, offices or classrooms. And, one need not be a masterful, motivational speaker in order to accomplish it. Mother Teresa once declared, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

People in your sphere of influence will dwell on your compliment or word of encouragement long after the sound has left the room.

Here’s the assignment. When you go to work this week, go prepared with four positive remarks you can make each day and scatter them throughout the day. It might be a genuine thank you, a compliment or a word of encouragement to someone who’s struggling. It is a deliberate attempt to provide one of those “honeycombs” the Book of Proverbs talks about. Do the same with your family. Each night before going to sleep, plan a word of affirmation or praise for each member of your family for the first time you see them the next day, and a second positive word for when you meet up at the end of your separate daily activities. This exercise applies to everyone, but is especially vital for husbands and fathers. For whatever reason the words of a Dad contain an inordinate amount of power.

I challenge you to put this little exercise to the test this week and honestly evaluate if the environment around you doesn’t take a noticeable turn for the better. There is nothing weird or superstitious about this. God has given you the power to influence your environment by your words. Use it!