"Can't you catch? You're ruining my passing percentage!"
These words went deep into the soul of a young teenage athlete who felt terrible about dropping a touchdown pass. The words we speak are so incredibly important! They affect people's lives in ways we don't appreciate or understand.
The media understands this process. Governments understand this process. The enemy of our souls understands this process; it is incumbent on us to understand this process as well. The power of the tongue is embedded in the power of the words we speak.
The words mentioned above were the last words I had spoken to one of my receivers on a football team I played on 50 years ago. At my 50th high school reunion, that young man, now 69 years old, approached me. I had not seen him in 50 years. I did not recognize this old man. He said to me, "Can I ask you a question, Tom?"
"Sure," I said. "Go ahead."
"Can you forgive me?" he asked.
"Sure, I can forgive you, but what do I need to forgive you for doing?"
"Please forgive me for dropping the touchdown pass you threw to me."
I was overwhelmed by his request. After 50 years, this is the one thing he remembers about high school? It was the one thing that connected us (actually, maybe not such a good connection because he dropped the pass).
Nonetheless, this impacted me greatly. He dropped the touchdown pass but caught the words I spoke, and it had affected him badly for 50 years. I looked into his teary, red, bloodshot eyes and realized he was an alcoholic, apparently medicating himself from the pain of those words long ago. The enemy used them to tell him he was a failure; to medicate his pain, he drank.
The Scripture tells us to capture every thought to the obedience of Christ (the Word) (see 2 Cor. 2:5). That's so true; words deliver thoughts. The thoughts we capture in our minds create the world in which we live. Unfortunately, for my classmate, it has been a painful experience. I could see when I looked in his eyes that he had the fear of failure plaguing him since he was a child. Fear of failure set up his mind to drop the touchdown pass since it was so very important to him to catch it. Yet for 50 years, that is all he remembered. If he could have one moment back in his life, he would want that one moment.
However, that's not the truth either. The truth is it's not changing our circumstances from perceived failure to perceived success that sets us free. It's the truth that sets us free. The truth is God his Father loves him no matter what he did or did not do. That truth is essential to success in life. That truth is essential to setting the captives free. That truth is not subject to circumstances, yet it will affect our circumstances dramatically for the good.
Since this exchange occurred at my 50th high school reunion, I have been praying for my classmate to have an encounter with his Father, even coming to know his Father as Dad, the who knows him the best and loves him the most.
I remembered having an experience in my prayer time in which Dad showed me I could walk into the world of my words. My words create thoughts. My words release energy into the atmosphere. My words change the atmosphere around me. I want to capture good thoughts and walk into all the good thoughts I can imagine! I want all of my thoughts to be kingdom thoughts and walk into the kingdom right here on earth as it is near at hand.
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