Do you remember the game, Telephone? I whisper a message to someone who tells it to the next person. And on it goes until the last person repeats the message. Generally, what happens is the message gets all mixed-up and comes out funny. Or rude!
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. Telephones then became instrumental in connecting people via technology innovation. Do you think Mr. Bell envisioned all of our communication and technological advancements since then?
I wonder if we have really made all that much progress…
You see, our communication can still be shaky. I’ll speak only for myself—I don’t always say the right thing. I can lose my temper and say things I regret. Then I catch myself, apologize, and do better. But that’s no excuse for my poor behavior.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “ Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (my emphasis added).
Can you hear me now?
People are like telephone poles, and grace is sent between the poles. Standing alone—not connected—they’re useless. Telephone poles need to be linked together, one after another, until the message gets transmitted.
What is the message we need to share? Good News! Pass it on!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
If a telephone pole or line goes down, the connection is lost. So it is with the message of God’s grace. Our words have potential to disconnect the very people God wants to reach. Or, we can speak with loving grace—connect others to Jesus!
No, I’m not going to make you eat soap, nor will I provide a list of “appropriate” words. Instead, let us simply extend a line of grace and carry the loving message of Jesus Christ!
Grace can come in many forms and kind deeds, but our words carry special weight (see Proverbs 18:21). We’ve probably all had something negative said to us or about us. That hurts, and the impact can be devastating. Often, those in close proximity can do the worse damage. Yet, the effect doesn’t remain localized. It influences the whole pathway.
The words we speak to ourselves are just as important as words spoken to each other.
Have you experienced the power of an encouraging word when you needed it the most? I’ve had several moments in the last few years where the path was unclear. It has been difficult at times to see progress or know if I need to make changes.
Over time, I’ve had the opportunity to share my story with new people at church. I also invite them to a class I facilitate, which helps volunteers get involved. Once, during a prolonged period of uncertainty, someone introduced me like this:
“This is Natalie. She does a great job in her role, and we are so thankful for her.”
It was not fancy or elaborate, but I was encouraged to know I was making a difference! Before that, I wasn’t even aware of the effect of my effort.
Even six months later, I remembered those empowering words. In fact, my whole outlook changed as I suddenly had more clarity in my vision and purpose.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
Let nothing interrupt the flow of grace in your life.
Do not miss an opportunity to be an ENCOURAGER to someone else. Look for the inherent value in others. Use your words to speak Life with a well-timed word!