I read somewhere: 

Never underestimate the power of your words.  With one small word you can change a person’s life.  For better or for worse.  God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.

The Bible says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.”  Proverbs 18:21.  “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  Proverbs 12:18.  “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”  Proverbs 15:4. 

Our words and actions are powerful beyond our comprehension.  With our tongue, the words we speak, we can make war.  With our tongue we can bring peace.  As a child we are taught the rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt.” 

However, as we mature, we begin to understand that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones; but bones will one day heal.  Words you speak they pierce my soul; a pain I may always feel.”  Never underestimate the power of your words.  With one small word you can change a person’s life.  For better or for worse…


There is a lady at work.  I pass by her every day – often several times a day.  She is tall and thin.  Very elegant.  Very “model-esque.”  Yet, very shy.  Very quiet.  I often think of complimenting her.  But, then I just pass by her in silence, continuing on the mission at hand. 

A few days ago I passed her as I was headed to my office.  I entered my office and shut the door behind me.  But, something in my spirit told me to go back.  So, in obedience, I opened the door and went back to where I had seen her just seconds earlier.  She was busy with some documents; slightly frowning as she fiddled with a machine.  I smiled and said, “You know, I have been meaning to tell you, I think you are very elegant.”  Immediately she looked towards me with a smile. 

The smile widened as she told me how growing up she had been extremely conscious of her height.  She was taller than everyone, including the boys in her class.  It made her feel awkward.  I asked her if she had ever modeled.  She blushed and replied in the negative. 

Since that day every time she sees me, she begins to grin from ear to ear.  It was just a simple compliment.  Yet, it made a difference in her life.  It encouraged her.  Never underestimate the power of your words.  With one small word you can change a person’s life.  For better or for worse… 

A wise man of God recently told me, “The opportunity of a lifetime has to be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.”  Wow.  What a profound statement.  And so true.  God gives us opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those around us. 

Those opportunities are here today, gone tomorrow.  We can either seize those opportunities as they come and make a positive impact in people’s lives, or we can let the opportunities pass us by, and in effect, make a “negative” impact.  

“How can inaction negatively affect someone’s life?” you ask me.  Let me explain with a real-life illustration.

It has been over ten years since I graduated from high school.  I was thumbing through my senior yearbook the other day.  As I was reading what people had written, on the inside front cover, in tiny block letters, I found this message:

For six years your loyalty has been amazing.  You are one of the few true friends I had in middle school, and the trueness of your spirit has effected me deeply.  I have changed much over the years, and a good part of it was through your guidance.  Thank you.

I do not remember ever reading this message before.  I must have somehow missed it.  But reading it now made me think. It made me realize, once again, that our actions and words are powerful.  Without even knowing it, we can make a profound and lasting impact on the lives of those around us.  Never underestimate the power of your words.  With one small word you can change a person’s life.  For better or for worse…

The person who wrote this message was a redhead with freckles, over-weight and lacking in hygiene habits (in other words, he was not very clean).  He was not from a well-to-do family.  So, he did not have the “name-brand clothes.”  He did not wear the expensive shoes.  He did not drive the latest sports car.  He was not “cool.”  So, the other kids made fun of him. 

We were never really close friends.  At least, I never considered him to be a close friend.  But, I was always nice to him, even when others were not.  I made an effort to be kind.  And I guess my simple gestures of kindness – a smile, a wave, a welcoming glance – made a difference in his life far greater than I had ever known before reading the note in my yearbook. 

Never underestimate the power of your words.  With one small word you can change a person’s life.  For better or for worse…

I met his sister a few years back.  She told me that she was very disappointed with him because he had dropped out of college and was working as a waiter at some seafood place.  He had been a bright guy; one I had expected to succeed.  I was sad to hear that he was not living up to his full potential. 

His sister said to me, “You should talk to him.  Tell him to go back to school.”  But, I never followed up on her request.  I did not think that what I would have said would have mattered to him.  And, maybe I was a bit lazy to take the initiative to look him up. 

But, now, after reading the message in my yearbook, I think maybe I could have made a difference.  I do not know.  But possibly I could have encouraged him.  I just do not know.  And now, I never will know.  I missed an opportunity that I had been given.  

Never underestimate the power of your words.  With one small word you can change a person’s life.  For better or for worse… 

Carpe diem. [Seize the Day]

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