Going back to the NCAA College Championship Basketball game between Kansas and North Carolina last night. As I wrote in yesterday’s blog Kansas was behind by 15 points at halftime, and in the second half of the game they erased the deficit and won by 3 points. Kansas was a totally different team in regards to effort and focus in the second half. Coach Bill Self in his halftime speech to the team told them to double their effort on defense, and he must have delivered that speech with enough passion to motivate his players to do just that.
Words have tremendous power to influence those who hear them if the message is clear and delivered by an excellent communicator. There is also a law of God that comes into play in regards to excellent speech that positively influences others. This law is as sure as gravity. God not only created observable physical laws, but He also created social and relational laws. One of those laws is stated in James 3:11-12, which says, “Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.”
A person who talks to others hurtfully will not be able to speak words that bring out the best in those same people. A father who scolds and humiliates his kids will not be able to build confidence in them or encourage them to higher achievements in life. A husband who dishonors his wife by how he talks to her will not be able to communicate convincingly that he loves her.
Those who want to influence others positively to higher achievement and more excellent performance must work hard at eliminating as much negative, demeaning, hurtful, and dishonoring speech from their vocabulary as possible.
God makes rules for life like basketball has rules for playing the game. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:5, “No athlete wins the game unless he competes according to the rules!”