Photo by Benjamin Voros
It has been a long while since I have played volleyball. I played until my sophomore year in high school and then quit to play basketball full-time. Of course, there have been games here and there when I was in college, but honestly, I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve played.
Last night I watched some of the youth at our church play. As the evening went on, it was interesting to see what was playing out on the court. As the students each began to get into the game, so did their voices. They started to call out to one another and giving them commands in the hope of having their team get the ball back over the net. It was funny because each time they opened their mouth the other players would listen and either back away or try to go for the ball. Occasionally what they were communicating was the right thing, and their team would succeed. Other times they were speaking incorrectly, and they lost the volley. It was during this exchange of watching the students God spoke.
When the students had finished playing, and we were preparing to join the prayer service, I shared what God had just revealed as I watched them play. I told them, you were all out there speaking to one another, and every time you spoke your teammates responded to your commands. Your words caused the other players to do what you said. You have much more influence with your words than you think. People are listening to you and doing what you say. You have a far more significant influence over people with your words than you realize.
The wheels began to turn in their heads. The idea of influencing/leading other people seemed foreign to them. Why would anyone want to follow or obey what they were saying? I encouraged them not to underestimate the power God had given each of them to carry out His Word to have life-changing impact in people’s lives.
How about you? People are not only watching you, but they are also listening. What influence are your words having on people’s lives?
“Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers IN SPEECH, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12