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Be Inspired?

Photo Credit - Unknown

Over the last 6 months I have known of at least 3 men who have passed away in their forties – a sibling, a pastor, an artist. All fairly young, all from every outward appearance healthy, yet they took their last breath and left those who loved them awestruck, disallusioned, wondering, confused, glad that they had the opportunity to know these individuals.

Recently artist known as Heavy D died suddenly at the age of 44 years old. His last tweet on his Twitter account simply said –
Surely he did not know that those two words would be his last two words spoken online to fans, friends and family, and yet they were. It got me thinking about the words we speak – whether verbally or in writing. Sure, none of us are able to ensure that our last words will be positive, life giving, and inspiring, but it should at least cause us to at least:
Pause Before we speak
Speak enough positive, life giving words that it’s what we are known for
Live every day as if it may be your last
Aim to live our lives to benefit others not only ourselves
Truth is, life is an extraordinary gift, often taken for granted, misused and abused. And yet for some it is a gift that is valued, used to inspire and spur others on.
How are you living your life? Did you inspire anyone today? If you see tomorrow, how can you inspire someone tomorrow?

Life Giving Words

Listened to an online message by Craig Groeschel regarding “Toxic Words.” In his message he referenced an old phrase that many parents, mine included,  teach their children – “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” The reality is that words are powerful and can be used for good or for evil, for good or for bad – they have power to build us up or tear us down.

  • We can decide to use words to build up or to tear down in our relationships with others
  • We are not in control of what others say to us, but we can choose whether or not to internalize the words others speak.

If I were to be honest I would have to admit that in the course of my thirty plus years of living I have internalized many negative words spoken to me – it’s hard not to. But I have also crossed over to a place where I am more embracing of the words God says about me. I started a practice not long ago of affirming myself each day and have found self affirmation to be helpful in combating the negativity that I encounter at times. As a leader this is important (every leader has her/his critiques). The following are a list of affirmations that I speak over myself on a regular basis. Perhaps they will help you too! Here they are:

I am a woman/man of God clothed with strength and dignity

I have God – given strength

I will stand up and speak up until God says shut up.

I am equipped for good works and responsible for developing others rather than be the celebrity that does it all.

I am God’s daughter/son – deeply loved, eternally forgiven, and this is the greatest aspect of my identity. I belong to God!

I move forward in His name, not with arrogance, yet with confidence [in whom He’s called me to be]

I will experience fear, doubt, confusion, discouragement and depression, yet not be controlled by these experiences

I will speak the truth in love rather than lie because of fear

I choose to believe God in the face of uncertainty

I am just as qualified as anyone else to be a servant of God – faults, failures, and all

I am beautiful inside and out, uniquely created, and becoming better

I will remember my past, and not be controlled by it as I move into the future

I reject rejection and embrace the acceptance of God.

I will remember that God places value on me not because of what I do but because of who I am

I will be boldly vocal when it’s time to be vocal and verbalize thoughts, opinions, facts and ideas, and silent when it’s time to be silent

I will listen for God’s voice, watch for His direction, and follow His instructions in and through the help and power of Holy Spirit

Because of Christ and the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit, I am neither inadequate or incompetent

I will at times need to tackle tough issues, take some hits for doing so, yet I will trust the One who sends me and calls me and the One on whose behalf I speak

I am lovely! I am beautiful!!! Because I am a place where God dwells!! (Psalm 84:1; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)!!!

God has not called and commissioned me to impress people, so I’ll stop trying.

Life can sometimes cause all of us, leaders included to dump all over ourselves and feel less than capable or simple focus on the negative rather than the positive. The above affirmations were developed to help us keep our identity in God at the forefront when life gets crazy. What life giving words do others in your life need to hear in order to be built up? What affirmations would you add to this list?