The power of words.
Before Luke records the first of Jesus’ miracles he draws our attention to the authority of Jesus. As Jesus speaks the man with the unclean spirit is confronted with this authority. Jesus commands the demon to depart and the man is set free.
Do your words as a leader bring freedom to others? Do we fancy ourselves more with catchy phrases, one-liners, or echoes from others or do we aim to speak words of freedom?
Our words have immeasurable power. One word spoken can alter the future of someone. We are cautioned to speak less and listen more (James 1.19). It’s in our listening that the words we eventually speak do so with more authority.
This is the first miracle Luke records and it has to do with Jesus’ authority. From here we see Luke record in verse 37 that reports about Christ travelled into the surrounding region. In other words our words go before us.
Our reputation precedes our arrival.
Most of the time our reputation is explained through others by the words we speak. People will quote you as a leader. We do well to guard the words we speak about others.
Be known more for the words of compassion you speak than the words of criticism. Criticism never built a relationship or ushered in a vision.
Allow me to challenge you to spend the next week focusing on speaking less and listening more.
Be known more as a person who encourages other than someone who degrades.
Tomorrow my wife of 33 years is having surgery. Doctors are removing her thyroid due to cancer. This procedure marks four years we’ve been caught in what I’ll refer to as the storms of life.
This surgery comes four years after I had my thyroid removed due to cancer. My surgery came just two weeks following the death of my wife’s mother. During these four years we’ve also experienced the passing of my wife’s father.
The storms continued as I was released from two ministry positions in a 13 month period. Our son and daughter-in-love were also released from their ministry positions. All due to budget issues.
Our son-in-love has battled medical issues and his wife, our daughter, has endured six miscarriages. They are expecting their first son in January of 2017! Our other daughter and son-in-love experienced a miscarriage of their own this past May.
In July of 2015 I went through four surgeries, three ER visits, and three hospitalizations in a three-week period. Only one surgery was scheduled. The remaining three were considered emergency surgeries. Three months later I had a final procedure needed due to one of the surgeries.
Finally, I’ve not had a steady income since the Spring of 2015.
I say all of this for one simple reason. God has been faithful. He has been with us through each storm.
Bottom line is that we all go through storms. Storms are inevitable in life. Through it all, God has been by our side, comforting us, providing for us, loving us.
May the God of peace, speak peace in the midst of storms you are or will face.
Photo:The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt.