Give Life or Drain It
Have you ever been driving down the highway and someone cuts you off and you just want to give them the "What are you doing?!" hand flip? Have you ever been at work, home, or church and wanted to share a juicy piece of gossip? Have you ever left somebody out of the group because they didn't quite fit in?
I know that I'm not the only one who struggles with these daily encounters. I strive to be the hands and feet of God in all things, but I'd be lying if I said that I don't come up short in fulfilling that role.
I was recently at a TobyMac concert, and he was about to play his most recent single, "Speak Life," and he shared a quote that struck me to the very core of my soul. "In every encounter, we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange." He expounded upon how this quote inspired his latest song.
He talked about how every exchange that we have in our life either gives life or drains it. I instantly felt the chastising love of God. I was instantly aware of so many things I had said or done recently that had drained life, either from others or myself. I realized in that moment that no matter how much I tried to rationalize it, nothing I do or say has no effect on those around me. I felt like Peter when I realized my filthiness before the Lord (Luke 5:8).
Do I think about every little thing that I do and how it affects those around me? From the way I carry myself to the smile that I do or do not share to the words I say in front of or behind someone's back to showing up to church on a Wednesday night or not, every exchange I have has the ability to give or drain life. There is no exchange that is just neutral; they all have some effect.
You're probably asking at this point, how does the way I carry myself affect the others around me? Think about it.
- Does the way that I interact with others show my love for the Lord?
- Does the way I interact with others show them my love for them, whether an enemy, friend, or brother in Christ?
- Does the way I talk about church show that I'm excited to go?
- Does the way I smile display God's favor in my life, whether in a valley or on a mountaintop?
- Does the way I talk about a brother or sister in Christ behind their back benefit the church or that person?
- Does the way I exclude certain people from the group help us to grow in unity?
- Does the way I greet everyone except for one person in particular show the love of God that allows the world to know we are His disciples?
Are you beginning to see the gravity of what I'm talking about here? Everything I do or say has an impact, good or bad. Maybe my consistency in attending mid-week meetings is an example to another saint. Maybe my testimony is what carries someone through an extra fiery trial. Maybe my loose lips create friction among the congregation and impede the Spirit of God from manifesting itself.
If I want to see souls saved for Christ, it starts with me. The choice is mine whether to lift others up in love or drain them. If I'm draining others, who will ever accept my invitation? I serve a living God who gives life more abundantly. I want to be a better example of that and try to give life in all that I do.
To do so, I need to stir up the gift of the Holy Ghost within me and be vigilant in my walk with the Lord. We're all susceptible to the flesh, but that's no reason I should not to strive to be more Christ-like in all things that I do and say.
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.