“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
One day in my speech class in college, our teacher told us that our oral activity was to sing a song in front of the whole class, and that it was to be graded. I had mixed feelings; I knew that I was no Ariel Rivera, not even a Yoyoy Villame, but I needed that grade to keep afloat my academic ambition. It didn’t help that most of my classmates were lovely ladies, and I was apprehensive that I would bark and meow in front of them – that should be the end of my romantic ambitions. So with determination not to shame my manhood, I practiced like a concert artist with my buddy Armand. I didn’t just try to imitate Barry Manilow, I even imagined the faces of my classmates smiling sweetly at me as I captivated their heart with my melody.
The big day came. I submitted my cued tape to my teacher, sat down, and began chanting this mantra in my head: “Bell ring please, bell ….” Eight fifteen…eight thirty…eight forty-five…eight fifty-five…I was getting closer to the friendly line unscathed since our class was good only for one hour when…. “Raoul Derit!” the voice of my polished teacher boomed like thunder in my ear and sent lightning bolts to my body, smashing my hope into pieces. As I reeled myself to take the microphone, all eyes were glued at me high with expectation. By this time, the students for the next session had already arrived, so instead of singing supposedly to only about twenty students, I had to give a live performance to a room overflowing with beauties. I felt like I was surrounded by lovely angels while being pushed towards a burning furnace!
I began to sing the first lines of the song, “As Sure as I’m Standing Here.” My voice floated like a butterfly into the air, and felt like cold ice on a hot summer day. I knew because the smiles got wider, and it felt like heaven. Then the musical hill got steeper and higher. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my head from my past, “You’re not a good singer! You’re out of tune!” Soon I began to loss my grip on my confidence; quickly the butterfly turned into a moth, the cold ice transformed into hot rocks, and I was pulled down back to earth. I knew because the smiles turned to frowns, and those who looked at me approvingly a while ago, looked somewhere else. The voice was right.
Believe it or not, God gives us a real power. Many people just don’t realize this or are only vaguely aware of its existence. What is this power?
Observe a child. Does he usually get what he wants? Praise a person sincerely. Did you make his day? Now belittle and curse that same person. Did you make him happy? Now imagine that you are joining a competition like basketball tournament, and tell yourself that you are too short, too slow, and too clumsy. Do you think you can perform to the best of your abilities?
Your power comes from your spoken words. And before you say – “Ay, that’s it?” – hang on their just a little bit and grasp this. Your words are so powerful it can destroy a person like a sword or it can bless a person like honey; it can bless your life or destroy your life, as well. How?
For the words to have power in you and to others, it must meet two requirements: First, it has to be heard, and second, it has to be believed on. When these two requirements are met, then the full power of the words, good or bad, will manifest in the form obedience or a positive response. When I lost the tune that day in my college speech class, it was not because I was really a bad singer, but because I sabotaged my own performance by acting out what the voice told me. I still believed it even when it was spoken to me long time ago.
If like me before, you are still bound by the power of bad words spoken against you in the past, there is a way out – believe that what you heard is not the final story. But this is easier said than done most especially if those words come from the people you truly care about. But I have good news for you. Our love ones may fail us at times but God will never do. He has all the right words for us to bless us. In my case, God spoke these words to my heart – “I love you, I adore you, and I already bless you with gifts that will make you soar like a beautiful butterfly.” I believed Him. And the day I did, my life was never the same again…and it still keeps getting better everyday.
PS: You are not a failure; you are created to be a winner, you just need to find your God-given talent and swim with it. You are not ugly; you are created in God’s image and likeness, you just need to see deeper into the flesh and straight into your heart because that is what your Father in Heaven is looking at. You are not useless; you are created for a specific reason, you just need to spend more time with your God to find your divine purpose, and once you do, make it your passion in life. You are not to wallow in suffering and poverty; the plan of your Father in Heaven is to prosper you, all you need to do is to be faithful and obedient to Him. You are not hated; the world may hate you but your Father in Heaven adores you, invite Him into your life so that you can truly see and feel His love.