Life At Its Best: Everyone needs do-overs in life
I remember my first golf swing well. As a baseball player, I thought I knew what I was doing, so I reared back and hit the ball incredibly hard. Well, I soon found out that the two sports require completely different swings. The golf ball went flying through the air as crooked and crazy as ever, and it took me an eternity to find it.
I was playing with my cousin, who was a pretty good golfer, and he patiently offered to give me a do-over. In fact, he ended up giving me a whole bunch of do-overs that day because he wanted to help me get better.
Everyone needs do-overs in life. And everyone needs people to allow us to take those do-overs. We appreciate those people who overlook our mistakes, failures and immaturities and give us another opportunity to do better.
That's what God did for us in redemption. He paid the price so that we could have another chance at living our best life. And he's also serious about us helping those around us to live out their best life.
One of the ways we do that is through the words we speak. Ephesians 4:29 says, "Don't let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it might benefit those who listen."
Our words carry tremendous power. They have the ability to make someone more whole or less whole. They can be used to belittle someone or to help build confidence in them for a brighter future - a second chance.
My father-in-law was someone who understood what it meant to have a second chance. As a young pastor, he endured an unwanted divorce. He felt like his ministry was over and that he would never get to fulfill what God had put in his heart. He assumed his church would no longer want him to pastor and was prepared to step down.
But instead, the leaders of that church gathered around him and encouraged him. They told him they still believed in him and knew that he had done his best. They wanted him to continue as their pastor.
It was that little church that restored his confidence and helped him move forward in a very difficult time. My father-in-law, John Osteen, went on to pastor one of America's most prominent churches and became known all over the world because of his television ministry.
Throughout all of his success as a pastor, he always referred to the love of these people who were willing to give him a second chance. He was certain that they had played a part in all he had accomplished through the years.
Don't you want to be that kind of a person? The kind of person who helps people to get back up? I do. So, let's choose our words wisely, and we'll soon find we've become a part of their success through the words we speak.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria; faithfamilyvictoria.com