Life At Its Best: Create environments of empowerment
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By Jim Graff
My family and I have had many pets throughout the years, and because we live in the country, there weren't many animals we considered off-limits.
However, one type of pet we never took interest in were snakes - especially poisonous ones.
I recently came across a magazine article that helped me see why. This article stated that no matter how hard a person may try, they can't tame a poisonous snake.
They may be able to for awhile, but the poison inside of that snake soon causes it to grow restless until it eventually lashes out.
Imagine if we had to carry this snake around with us everywhere we went. Our lives would instantly and drastically change.
We'd feel that we were in constant danger of being poisoned, and the awareness of that danger would cause us to live with great caution.
God says that's exactly how we should feel about our tongue. In fact, in James 3, the tongue is described as "a restless evil that's full of deadly poison."
Many of us wouldn't think of our tongue as a lethal weapon, but when not tamed, our tongue can actually be more harmful than a poisonous snake.
The good news is that our tongue doesn't only have the ability to poison. The Bible says that the tongue also holds the power of life, and when we learn to manage our tongue wisely, we release that life-giving power to everyone around us.
Years ago, when we were moving into our new sanctuary at Faith Family, my wife, Tamara, asked to be in charge of all the building's interior decorations.
Seeing her obvious gift in that area, and my lack thereof, I said yes. Tamara and her team of ladies quickly went to work.
I watched as each day they continued to make progress. By the time they finished, I was amazed.
They had taken a building with once empty rooms and turned it into a beautiful environment that everyone could enjoy.
Our words have the power to create the same transformation. It was through his words that God created the world, and through our words we also will create an environment.
So what will you create?
Proverbs 25:11 tells us, "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Simply put, right words create right atmospheres, and changing our environment starts with changing our words. When we use words that strengthen and empower others, we create an environment where everyone feels valued.
That's the kind of environment we were created for, and that's the environment God desires for each one of us to be a part of.
He knows that the key to experiencing great atmospheres is watching what we say.
So, let's not forget how influential our tongue is.
It can release venom or value; it's up to us.
Together, let's choose to use our words to create blessing in our world.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com