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Release the Blessing
By Joel Osteen - Nov 04, 2011
A while back, I heard a story about a young girl in the second grade who had a cleft lip. It made her lip a little bit crooked, and her smile was somewhat awkward. Because she was different from the other students, nobody really wanted to play with her. This rejection caused her to develop a deep insecurity. Oftentimes, she would shrink back from the other children. She just stayed to herself and didn't really have any friends. One day, the school was conducting hearing tests. They did the tests in the classroom. The teacher would have a student come to her desk and ask them to walk slowly toward the classroom door. While they were walking, the teacher would whisper very quietly, and the student would have to repeat out loud, in front of the whole class, what the teacher was whispering. For most students, the teacher would say something like, "The sky is blue. There's a cat outside. Today is Tuesday." The student would repeat it out loud and proved they could hear properly.

When it came time for this little girl to take her hearing test, she got up in front of the class and was so timid and afraid. As she started to walk away from the teacher's desk, the teacher said to her, "I wish you were my little girl." As soon as the little girl heard the teacher's approval, as soon as she heard those words of blessing spoken over her, something changed on the inside of her. Those words gave her a new sense of confidence and greater self-esteem. Not only that, but when the other students heard how much the teacher loved this little girl, it changed their attitudes, too. Now they all wanted to be her friend. They made sure to sit by her at lunch and even started inviting her over to their homes after school.

Friend, this is a powerful example of how our words of affirmation have tremendous influence over the people in our lives. Not only can your words affect a person, but they affect everyone around that person. Your words can release God's favor in a greater way. Your words can be a turning point in someone's life. Today, remember that you have life and death in the power of your words. Choose to speak life, choose to encourage others, and choose to release the blessing.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21, NIV).
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