Read Proverbs 12:18
“You have one half to prove to me you have what it takes to play college basketball. Right now, I don’t think you do.”
Reading over those words 8 years later still causes my heart to drop. I knew that I wasn’t playing my best basketball in that game. I knew it because I am my own worst critic. “You don’t have what it takes!” pierced me through to the innermost recesses of my soul. In that exact moment, as soon as I heard those words, I was done. Any last part of me that was holding on to hope was shattered. The game that I had dedicated literally blood, sweat and (a lot of) tears and years of my life to was up in flames. I was done. From that point on, I was so mad that I couldn’t even speak. It wasn’t until I got home and cried while my mom hugged me that I was able to tell them what was said and how I felt.
I’ve always been one to allow what people say to me and about me affect me too much. I’ve always been a soft, quiet and reserved person and that didn’t fit in with high school sports. Coaches would frequently and blatantly poke fun at the fact that I was soft. I was never big enough. I was never strong enough. I wasn’t tough enough. I wasn’t enough.
Words have power. Another passage in Proverbs says they have the power of life and death. The words that were said to me, and how I chose to internalize them, literally changed the course of my life.
Our passage in Proverbs 12 says that those who speak rashly are like the thrusting of a sword. I felt every bit of that.
However, there’s a second half to our verse.
When I think of the words of wisdom, I think of my dad. He has always been the one to approach any situation with a level head. He doesn’t allow emotions to get in the way of his decisions. They are all calculated and biblical.
During my own emotional maturation, I’ve learned to approach situations like my dad. Don’t be rash but be wise. Don’t act out of emotion but act after thoughtful prayer.
I challenge you all to do the same. Recognize that your words have the power to uplift, encourage and motivate in one breath and, in the other, tear down, demotivate and humiliate. Use your words for good.
Use your words to bring people closer to Jesus!