If you knew that the words you would say today would be around 4,000 years in the future, what you would say?
Even though it’s most likely that our words won’t have that type of shelf life, our words do have an impact on those around us today. Our words can be used to influence those around us. How would those around us (our spouse, kids, boyfriend/girlfriend, co-workers, teammates, ministry volunteers) say that they’ve been influenced by our words? Have they been for the good or for the bad? Even when we’re not at our best, what are some habits that will help us use our words to influence?
The meaning of Deuteronomy (Debarim; literally means “the words”) is taken from the opening phrase, “These are the words” from Deuteronomy 1:1. It’s important because the first 31 chapters center on God speaking to Moses and then Moses using words to influence God’s people. It wouldn’t be too far fetched to think that it never crossed Moses’ mind that we’d be reading his words 4,000 years later. But I’m glad we can read them.
As you read through the first eight verses of chapter 31, those are some powerful influential words from Moses to the people and to his successor, Joshua. Phrases like “be strong” and “be courageous” sound empty with context for strength and courage. But as we will continue to read in the upcoming weeks, Joshua was influenced by these words, put them into practice, and became a great leader like Moses. It all started with Moses using his words for influence.
This Friday, let’s commit to using our words to influence those around us to be the person God has purposed them to be.
Jeff Geyer Pastor of Spiritual Formation and Family Ministries 703.971.4673 ext. 261 www.newhope.org