June 2, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Speaking Death or Life into a Situation

Facts are exactly that, facts.

So, please don’t interpret what I say in this column as me encouraging you to ignore the facts and instructions regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic; I’m not.

However, sometimes the way we process a fact makes all the difference in the world.

Proverbs 18: 21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” This means that when we observe certain situations, our words can literally speak death or life into that situation.

No, physically speaking, we don’t have the power to curse something with our words and it die, nor do we have the power to bring something that’s dead back to life. But Spiritually and mentally, yes, I believe we have that power! Words matter!

As I pondered speaking death or life, I thought about the story in the Bible of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10: 30-37)

Amazingly, in this story the Bible takes a negative view of the victims’ situation.

In vs.30 it says, “… Leaving him ‘half dead.'”  “Half dead!” Think about that! It’s a fact that cannot be disputed. He was half dead.

But let me pose a question: If the victim is ‘half dead,’ then by default, what is he? You guessed it! He’s half alive!

The difference, or the miracle, in this story is in how the Good Samaritan processed facts differently. He saw hope/life where the Priest and Levite bought into the “half dead” scenario. They saw no hope. They saw death. And they passed the victim by, leaving him to die.

It’s amazing to me how the Good Samaritan, seeing the same identical facts, chose to see the victim as “half alive” instead of “half dead.” He chose to see hope! He chose to be optimistic! His view governed his response. (As will our view govern our response, regarding anything!)

He chose, if you will, to speak life into the victim. He then provided the love, time, compassion, commitment, care, medical help, money, and everything else the victim required to facilitate healing/life!

Regarding the current Coronavirus situation in which we find ourselves, without dispute, the facts are what they are.

What will make the difference is how we choose to view and process these facts.  We have the power to speak death or life into this situation. Which will we choose? We can be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. So, whenever we have the opportunity to do so, let’s try to bring good out of this bad situation.

In times like these, Christians and the church have always been at their best. They’ve done those things that make a positive difference. I believe this situation will be no different! So, choose to do good when you can, where you can, for everybody you can, and as often as you can. On purpose, choose to be positive and kind in this negative situation. Child of God, let others see Jesus in you. And church, let’s be the church!

Speaking of the church being the church, I heard my son-in-law say in a Facebook sermon, “The church appears empty. However, while the building may indeed be empty, the church is not! Her members are simply deployed!” Son! That’ll put you on shouting ground!

In the worst of times, while observing the proper quarantine rules, I have witnessed the church getting outside the walls of the church building as I have never witnessed before!

Facebook has been turned into an evangelistic outreach tool! Pastors, who couldn’t spell Facebook Live two weeks ago, are now rocking Facebook Live Sermons. It’s filled with singers, people reading to children, and people encouraging each other!

People are volunteering to pick up groceries for those who dare not get out. Churches are buying meals for employees of agencies who don’t have the option to stay home.

People are making masks for health care workers, praying as never before, and they’re choosing to speak life into this Coronavirus quarantine – and not death!

Please know that during these most difficult times, Marianne and I love y’all, are praying for y’all, and are here for you.

Brother Aaron

(PS: Don’t forget to send your tithes and offerings to your church! Church finances/bills aren’t quarantined! They still show up every month! And for those who don’t do on-line giving, old-fashioned check writing and the US Mail – still work!)

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