I am doing a bible study through creation, by Amy Melekos who works at Powerhouse Ministries Inc. (a ministry partner of Oak Hills.) One of the questions yesterday has caused me to pause, “In what ways do you have the power to breathe life into others?” This is not the first time I have wrestled with the truth that the tongue has the power to build up or destroy. James 3 reminds us in verse 9 and 10 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” A parenting book Colleen Grey recommended to me years ago, Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony, has a whole chapter on it! Today, I find myself not ready to move on in the study, I want to ponder this question more. Why is it so easy to withhold life giving words? Or sometimes feel hard to find them? Fear, selfishness. But that is not what the question asks.
Looking at the positive, “What ways do I have the power to breathe life into others?” The word Power jumps out at me. What Power do I have? Acts 1:8 tells us, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon you..” Spirit, wind, breath, words, presence. I have most often thought of my words as the way I breathe life into others. Speak a blessing, speak a word of truth. But what if it also includes (or is more about) who I am in the presence of? Who am I breathing with? Am I present to them? Hearing their breath, their words?
It makes me think of our new Pull-up a Chair series. Who will I pull up a chair with? Where do I choose to go? Who do I avoid? Where do I breathe life, where do I sigh contempt?
I want to breathe life into people and sometimes it is as easy as sitting there and listening. Maybe it includes finding things in common, laughing! Or slowing down enough to be present and recognize that we are all “human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.”
Take time today to consider with God who you ‘other’ is. Reflect on where these opinions formed. Ask God to reveal how this affects your behavior. Your power to breath life.