September 7, 2023

Hello Advent Family,

Have you ever said something and immediately regretted it?  Maybe it was the heat of the moment or perhaps you just were not at your best.  The thing is sometimes our words can cause far more damage than we ever intend.  I can still remember the sting of unkind words said to me all the way back to elementary school.  By the same token our words can be a powerful tool to pour into others and build them up.  Let’s look at James words about how we use our words in James 3 together today.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

For me when it comes to sports sometimes I am not at my best.  I am a hyper competitive person and there are times in my life when that has gotten the best of me and I have regretted my words.  Over the years I have worked hard to be better in that area particularly as I have gone from player to coach.  The competitive edge is still there but I know how important it is to build your players up with words and encourage them.  That is why yesterday meant so much to me.  Out of the blue an Advent student whom I coached last year came up and thanked me for something I said to him last year during basketball season.  He said, “Coach PD I know that I am not very good at basketball, but when you told me how important I was to the team because of the way I hustle in practice it stuck with me and I’m still not very good but I love basketball now and practice all the time.”  I told him how much his words meant to me and I immediately thought of this passage.  There are any number of negative things that I thought and could have said about this players basketball skills, but because I said something positive this student held on to that almost a full year later.  Our words have incredible power.  May we seek to use our words to build others up today and every day. 

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave