Here’s Team GB Olympic diver Tom Daley with his Dad after the 2010 Commonwealth Games Medals Ceremony. Just a few days ago Tom was subjected to a barrage of twitter hate because he and his partner had let a half way lead slip in the synchronised diving competition. The British pair eventually came fourth therefore missing out on the medals totally. Tom was then subjected to some negative press and twitter comments with one tweet saying, “Your Dad is not Proud.” Tom’s Dad, Robert, died in 2011 age 40 after a battle with Brain Cancer.
Proverbs 10:11 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
These verses remind us that our words can be life-giving or lethal. They have the potential to build up or tear down. God wants us to adopt his posture of speaking life-giving words into situations, lives and circumstances. No doubt about it we all get frustrated and disappointed, especially when our hopes are dashed, you should see me after a poor performance by ‘my team’. The tendency in those moments is to adopt toxic, destructive words, words that are a lethal weapon aimed at hurting the soul of another. “The lips of the righteous,” though, “are life-giving.” I’ve often thought how do I overcome my negative and destroyed emotions right now to make sure I’m speaking life-giving words. I’ve not always succeeded, ask my sons, but some years ago I made a choice that this is how I wanted to live – life-giving. Here are a few thoughts to help us stay in the life-giving zone.
1. Decide that’s how you are going to live: Make a decision that the toxic you is not the new you, but that you are a life-giving person.
2. Enjoy the company of life-giving people: Are there people in your world, maybe at church, who speak well of others, seem to love people genuinely. Then enjoy their company.
3. Give life to your thoughts: I find myself thinking things like, ‘that was great’, ‘isn’t that person good at that’, ‘wasn’t that a great thing to say/do’. When you think those thoughts, give them life. Send a text, email, facebook message, pick up the phone, meet them. Put life into your thoughts. If your married, text your partner now tell them how much you love and appreciate them, do it regularly. Tell your kids you love them, do it regularly. I’m sure Tom’s Dad, were he with us, though hugely disappointed would be so proud of his son – 4th place in the Olympics…WOW!
4. Speak life giving words over your own life: Say what God thinks about you not what you think of yourself or what others have said in a toxic manner. I know this is awkward, but remember today, God loves you, he believes in you, he’s going to use you, you’re in his plans and in his heart. Say something life-giving about yourself today then do it everyday!