The thing about names is, we are both receivers and givers of names. Often without our even knowing it, we speak words over others that impact their hearts and lead them towards life and too often towards that which kills, steals and destroys.
Jeff Cohen or “Chunk” from the movie Goonies didn’t live into the name Chunk. It makes me wonder if he had someone speak into him that his story didn’t have to be defined by the name of his character. Perhaps he had someone speak against that name given to him, and instead speak words of life, so much so that “chunk” did not take root in him. It appears that words of life stuck to him, rather than the name given in the movie. People in his life, played a role in that. Just like you and I play a roll in the lives of others.
It is my aim to be a person who speaks life. I don’t always succeed, but when I pay attention to my words I am able to help speak into others that which is true and that which calls them to live, really truly live! And that, is powerful!
Imagine if accountability looked like calling people to live their best story instead of simply calling them not to live a bad one? What if we encouraged people in the areas where they are gifted, giving them eyes to see the beauty, intelligence, kindness, creativity and compassion they have to offer. What if instead of telling people where they are failing, hoping they would improve, instead, we point out where they are succeeding and lead them towards continued success? What if we chose our words carefully, at all times? . Imagine what would happen if we took the time to think through the ramifications of our words.
Words are powerful things. Daily we get the opportunity to use them to bring life. People need others who will speak words over them that are true and good. The world needs individuals who intentionally pour into the lives of others, combating the names they once were given and inviting them to live into true names. To call people out of being what was once spoken over them and inviting them to live their best possible story.
Helping people to live into a new, good, true name is something that takes time, questions, intention and practice and we each can share in the practice.
Here are a couple of ways you can be a part of helping others live into true names.
1. Pray before you speak. Pray that you will speak only words that are true and word that will lead towards life. (Side note: words that lead towards life are not always easy to hear, but they ALWAYS leads toward something good. They are words that speak truth over comfort, but words that always call out life in others.)
2. In your job, constantly look for the good in those around you. Take opportunity often to speak encouragement into those around you. If you see someone excelling, tell them. If you see someone giving their best effort, tell them. When you see someone struggling, LISTEN to them and speak words of life into them.
3. Don’t be a gossip. When others are talking about the girl in accounting who has a certain reputation, don’t join in. Instead, be a person who speaks about the truth others possess. Be a person who speaks well of others. (Remember just because words are not spoken in front of the person, doesn’t mean they do not effect that person. Gossip and opinions of others have a way of getting back to that person. And its deadly to their soul when they do)
4. Become a friend. A real friend who listens to the stories of others, understanding their life story and be one who cares what names have been spoken over them. Speak life into them whenever possible.
5. Give of yourself by volunteering:
Become a mentor. Walk along side of a young person, encouraging them, speaking into them and calling out their best. Become a mentor to help a kid go from living in the old and help them walk in new. This will end up changing both of you!
Work with those often forgotten by society, and REMEMBER them. Speak words into them. This can be challenging as the lies that permeate the hearts of the forgotten run deep. Call out the truth and patiently await their belief in it. Help them not only believe but live into the truth.
Work with victims of abuse. Listen to their stories, love them as is and continually speak over them truth.
Truly there are thousands of ways to volunteer in your city. Volunteering is more than giving an act of service, it is, when done well, is a weapon against the names others have been given as victims, homeless, forgotten, abandoned, neglected, worthless, useless, lazy, and the like. When you volunteer to pour into the life of another person you end up speaking to their worth and value through action and you could take it a powerful step further, you can speak value through your words.
It is time we recognize that our words are weapon; they are a weapon either for destruction or against destruction. We must treat them as such and seek to become individuals who use our words as powerful weapons of life against that which kills, steals and destroys. Tools to call out LIFE in others.
How can you use your words daily? What ideas do you have as ways people can volunteer and at the same time use their words as a tool bringing life into the lives of others?