In 1871, a young man picked up a book and read 21 words that had a dramatic impact on his life. At the time he was a medical student, and he was worried about passing his final medical exams and how to build up a practice. Incredibly, the 21 words this young medical student read helped him to become the most famous physician of his generation. He would go on to organize the world-famous Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Oxford University would bestow on him the highest honor that can be given to any medical doctor in the British Empire, making him the Regius Professor of Medicine. The King of England knighted him for his accomplishments. And when he died, two huge volumes totaling 1,466 pages were required to write a story of his life. The man was Sir William Osler. The 21 words that transformed his life were Thomas Carlyle’s: “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” Words are powerful. The Bible declares: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men… Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing” (James 3:9, 10). Most of us can recall words of wisdom from a parent, teacher, friend, or even a stranger who helped us over some rough spot in our lives. Likewise, most of us can remember a moment when harsh words, carelessly inflicted, generated pain or shame or humiliation. Simply recalling that moment is likely to renew the pain. Since words contain such power, it is vital that we take care that what we speak and write lifts people up rather than pull them down. Consider these six inspiring ways to se words: Use Words to Build Moral Courage
The Bible instructs; “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love ad good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). A dramatic example of the power of words to encourage took place in Bulgaria during World War II. Soon after the German army occupied that country, the Nazis issued an order to the Bulgarian government to begin deporting all the...
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