Earlier this week, I was reading through a camp magazine and came across this letter

“Dear Camp Staff,

You probably don’t remember me, but 35 years ago I came to your camp. I still remember the Long Bow cabin and the friends I made, but mostly I remember my counselor. I don’t remember his real name, but everyone called him Stilts. He towered over all of us kids. But that’s not the only reason we looked up to him. His love for the Lord and for us was so evident. The four small words he said to me changed me forever. I’d never heard them before. Oh, I’d heard them said to others, but I had waited 12 years to feel those words aimed at me. That week was my week. “I’m proud of you,” he said. I was speechless. Proud? Of me?

He didn’t have to start a long narrative. He didn’t need to throw theology at me. He said it all with those four words and his love-filled life. That week I not only grew as a person, but I also surrendered my life to Christ (the first in my family to do so).

Today I’m a pastor. I’ve led my family and countless others to Christ. I thank God everyday for Mr. Stilts and his obedience to Christ and for your camp that has meant so much to me and my family over the years.”

What a reminder on the power of our words. I know for me personally, if an older guy said that to me, I would’ve been blown away. You see, I grew up in a home where my father wasn’t present. I never heard those words from my father. To hear those words directed at me would’ve been life-changing. If those four words could have that big of an impact, think about words of the Gospel-the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins to restore a relationship with God the Father. Think about the life-changing message of the Gospel. Those are words that are truly life-changing. Take a look around. Who needs to hear the life-changing words of the Gospel? Who needs to be encouraged?  Let’s not forget or neglect the impact our words can have on those around us. Let’s change some lives today.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”          -1 Thessalonians 5:11

– Michael Orr