My father-in-law will always be remembered for saying, “When you’re driving, never back up farther than you have to.” He gave this advice to his sons, who told it to their sons, and it’s been passed on to our grandsons. His words have probably saved me from many expensive repair bills! You, too, can probably recall a bit of wisdom someone gave you that has influenced your life. That person’s words spoken to you made a difference.
Another way people are influenced by words is when we write them. A few years ago I wrote a little book called Created for a Purpose. A young woman who was pregnant and on drugs bought the book at a truck stop in California when she was team-driving cross-country with a man who was abusing her. By the time she read Chapter 4, she had backed off drugs and begun to regain her confidence and self-esteem. Somewhere around Chapter 6 and half-way across the United States, she jumped out of the truck and was picked up by a passer-by who got her back home. When she wrote to me, she was reading Chapter 7—and beginning a new life.
Now, in case you think it was my words that brought about that change, think again! No! It’s not really our words that change people but what the Holy Spirit does with our words. Because what we say can make such a difference, though, pray that God will help you to speak words that He can use. Moses said, “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like drew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants” (Deut. 32:2).
May the Lord help us speak words that are helpful and nourishing! Not harsh. Not spoken in a state of stress and impatience, but words of encouragement that will truly be like showers on new grass.
What words of wisdom have influenced your life?