Each week at our last practice of the week I take about 10-15 minutes of the end of practice and tell the teams a story. Usually I make it up based on a biblical teaching that had resonated with me earlier in the week. I guess you can call them parables. Sometimes I just take a story directly from the bible and instead of reading it to them I just kind of narrate it to them from memory. Today I did just that and the lesson hit me right between the eyes.
I have, as of recent, been journeying through the proverbs. I have’t gotten very far because I keep going back to the one I red the day before and studying it again and again. My search for wisdom and understanding has also brought me to recognize the importance and power of words. Using my words for edification and life instead of bringing people down.
In my story of young Abigail, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary gift, the moral was about our words and how wonderful they can be, but also how damaging they can be. Abigail had all her life been positive and encouraging to everyone she met. Her words carried the power to heal and even give life. One day she recognized that her words also had the opposite effect when she was angry at someone. The story ended with Abigail learning that she had to be very careful with what she said, especially when she was angry, because her words could damage someone permanently.
My lesson to the girls was to be careful (especially when they are angry) with what they say because words are very powerful and can hurt someone deeply.
The scary thing about words is that even though they may mean nothing negatively, like a joke or something, they can internally damage someone very much. Though the person may not display it externally, the words can cut them deep and impact your relationship, or influence on them in a great way.
Today, my heart was filled with horror when I realized that I may in fact be doing the same things to my athletes as a coach. Do I really take great care to think about how my words may hurt them? Do I consider that even the slightest joke may offend one of them deeply? Yes I have a “style” of coaching, and yes there is time for reprove, but words have the power to last a lifetime and I would never want to impact what good influence I may have on one child because of my reckless tongue.
The thought that I may have, or even may be presently going a little too hard on any of my athletes has broken my heart to bits. I have confessed this sin and pleaded to the Lord for forgiveness, asking Him to reveal to me my errors and grant me wisdom to speak words of life to them and not tear down their self esteems. May He also grant me the same wisdom when dealing with my family. Have you checked your words lately? As powerful as they are, we should all do so regularly.