Devotional for Friday July 20th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” Proverbs 18:21 (CS)
Our thought for today: “Your words can help or they can hurt.”
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” The other day I came across a literal example of that truth. In their book, “Redeeming How We Talk” authors Ken Wytsma and A.J. Swoboda tell the true story of a man in San Francisco who committed suicide by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. He walked a long way from his home to the bridge. As he did, he passed hundreds of people – tourists, shop owners, people on their way to work. Finally he arrived at his destination. He quickly scaled the four-foot safety rail, stood there for a moment, and then jumped to his death.
During the ensuing investigation, as the police were searching his apartment trying to discover a motive for the suicide, they came upon a note lying on top of his dresser. It read, “I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I won’t jump.”
Revisit the scene in your mind: a sad and lonely man walking along the crowded sidewalks of a busy city – walking to his death. The people all around him are unaware of his intentions and they’re paying no attention to him. Person after person passes him by, anyone of them could have saved his life with the simplest of gestures – just a smile and a kind word. But not one person did. No thoughts of mercy, no acts of grace and kindness, just busy people hurrying through their day, oblivious to the pain and anguish right in front of them.
“We have become a world of people all alone, together”, wrote author Sherry Turkle.
Humans were created by God to be relational. We need other people. More than that, we need interaction with other people that is positive and affirming. God has given us the ability to speak words of life to people who need encouragement, people who need to know that someone cares.
We all know that words can help or words can hurt. It’s our choice – it all depends how we use them. We can bless or curse, heal or hurt, depending on the words that we speak. But also, as was the case with that sad and lonely man in San Francisco, unspoken words can sometimes be the cruelest of all. Silence says “You’re not important enough to even be noticed.”
Maybe awareness and kind words from you won’t literally save someone’s life today, but they could still be a bigger blessing to the person than you realize, they could be a ray of sunshine and a source of hope spoken into someone else’s life at just the right time. There is death and life in the power of the tongue. Speak words of life to people today.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
(Perhaps you would be willing to re-post this and share it with others. This world could use a lot more smiling and words of kindness)
Copyright © 2018 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Oak Hill Baptist Church
3036 Genesis Road
Crossville, Tn 38571

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