‘Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”’ 1 Samuel 1.17
Eli, a priest, had been listening to Hannah crying out to God for a son. Initially he thought she was drunk, but on hearing the real reason for her heartfelt prayer he spoke these words. Hannah’s prayer was answered and she did indeed bear a child, suggesting that Eli’s words had carried authority and power.
Your words also have power and you need to take what you say seriously. Many people testify to the destructive nature of words spoken to them; sometimes even one negative sentence can have a lasting effect on the way people regard themselves. Refusing to pass on gossip, choosing not to criticize, trying to replace unkind words with a positive comment and looking people in the eyes and thanking them are all very practical ways of using your words as a blessing to the people you meet.
When you communicate with someone today, what will be the lasting effect of your communication?
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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