Read: “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)
Reflect: “Mom, I can see how someone could be willing to give up if they don’t have the support they need to move forward.” My son shared these words with me days after our conversation about a failing grade on his first college paper. His professor said that his writing was not good enough. My son spoke those words as if he was not good enough. Her words induced doubt and drained my son’s confidence.
Prayer shifted my question from “What did she say to you?” to “What does God say to you?” I encouraged my son to take her words as feedback and then stand on God’s Word to persist. I prayed my son would let God’s peace, which exceeds all understanding, guard his heart and mind (Philippians 4:7). I reminded him that God can do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20). I encouraged my son to let God work in him and to use his own words, through prayer, to ask God for strength to endure. Our call ended with, “I just wanted to thank you for your support.”
There were a lot of words (many of them hurtful) that I could have said to my son about his grade. But in that moment I chose to be an instrument of God’s word and breathed life into his situation. My son passed the class with a C. While that may look ordinary in a gradebook, that mark is an extraordinary reminder of how the power of words can change everything.
React: In our interactions today, let us be mindful of whether our words are tearing down or building up others.
Pray: God, fill my heart with your Word so that I may speak your truth in my conversations.