The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.  He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.  Isaiah 50:4 (NIV)

When I was in 7th & 8th grade, all girls were enrolled in home economics to learn cooking and sewing basics.  We were not given a choice, and I'm thankful for the experience.  However in 9th grade, although we were encouraged to continue in advanced home economics to learn more in-depth housekeeping skills, I longed for more. 

Coloring inside the lines was never my forte.  I thrived on different. 

Instead of following the crowd, I signed up for shop class and learned three new skills: 

Printshop, not on a computer, with typesetting, screen printing and ink. 

Woodworking, with band saws, circular saws, drills and things that drew blood.

Welding, complete with helmets, torches and fire.

It was in welding class that I witnessed the power of a small concentrated fire.  The flame shooting from the torch ripped one piece of metal apart and seamed two others together.  It was lethal, yet mending.  Whoever controlled the flame, controlled the outcome. 

We have a little flame that rests inside our mouths, our tongue.

It has the power to fire up and encourage a withered heart or torch it with a careless word.

We don’t always use that power wisely.  Today is a new day.  God will put someone in our path, and then we can choose to mend, encourage, or fire up their weary soul.

Jesus, You gave us such a perfect example of how to treat others.  Govern our tongues and remind us how each word holds power to rip or repair.  May our desire always be to allow Your love to flow through us and onto others.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Luann Prater

Executive Director and Founder of Encouragement Café Ministries

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