Winter 2022 magazine

Daily Devotional: Thursday, October 13 - Watch Your Words

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” — Colossians 4:6

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“I heard that!” Most of us have heard that expression and chuckled at the emphasis it puts on what was just said a moment earlier. There is an element of truth and seriousness to that expression, however. Although research tells us that 70-93% of all communication is nonverbal, once in a while someone will say something that sticks with us, sometimes for a lifetime.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can have a hard time remembering what the graduation speaker said, or the message the preacher brought, or even what our spouse told us to pick up at the grocery store. But sometimes someone’s words can be etched in our memories forever.

I was recently reminded of a basketball player, now nearly 60 years old, who confessed that he could remember only two specific comments that coaches had told him through his years as a player. Of course, he was shaped by their influence in countless other ways, but in terms of recalling the exact words of a coach, he could only remember two instances where he could still quote the coach’s words.

At 11 or 12 years old, he was very small not only for his age but especially for an aspiring basketball player. The coach — Sergeant Herndon of Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina — said, “Always remember that a GOOD big man can make it, but it takes a GREAT little man to make it.” Sergeant Herndon passed away the following year, but his words live on in the soul of that player to this day, reminding us nearly 50 years later of the power of the spoken word. I heard that!

— Frick Frierson

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