The Power of Words
"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
Have you been keeping up with the Olympics? Like the rest of the world, I've become such a fan of Gabby Douglas. I think she's just adorable and such a joy to watch. If you don't know, she's sort of a star on team USA and helped us win gold in the team event last week.
Since that time, the buzz about her has abounded, and with it has come the inevitable snark from certain segments of the media. One big thing people have been criticizing is her hair, which frankly, is so dumb. For starters, there's not even anything wrong with her hair. I'd sure hate to see what they said about my hair on my, "Meh, I don't think I need to dry it" days. But even if her hair were awful, um, hello critics, she is a famous Olympian. People love her. Get over yourselves. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Apparently on the bully-a-successful-sixteen-year-old bandwagon, attacking her mother's financial stability is also fair game. Needless to say, Gabby caught wind of it, and the past couple events, she has performed terribly.
She posted this message on her Facebook page this morning: "Whew I finally got some good rest after having to deal with some of this negativity. First my hair - then my mom. I guess noone could wait till we finished competing so that we could keep our concentration and focus. But you know what one more final to go! Ladies let's make it count!!!! LET'S GET EM!! #USA #beamfinals #floorfinals Pray for us ♥ Gabby"
This message makes me so sad. How often do we underestimate the power our words have on others, especially when we see them as famous and invincible? The same goes for people who we see as beyond our reach... the ones who seem to live such different lifestyles than us. But I think it's so important to remember that no matter where a person is, they have a story, and that story matters to them. It matters more that we can imagine. People don't just wake up one day and decide to be difficult. Circumstances in life shape them. They shape all of us, and our words have the power to do that shaping.
I'm reminded of the Casting Crowns' song "Jesus, Friend of Sinners," and I hope it encourages you today. Remember that your realm of influence has a much greater circumference than you could ever see.