I wrote a blog called “What Name Do You Answer To”, I few years back. The season opener to the hit series Power premiered January 12th. I know a lot of people weren’t feeling the episode but there was a scene in particular that was profound and reminded of that previous blog. (If you hadn’t read it yet please check it out).
In the show there is a Villain name Dre. Dre has a past of being a drug dealer, murder, liar, thief, you name it he’s probably done it. However, we see gentle sides of Dre being a father to his little girl Heaven. Dre realizes that his back is up against the wall. Time is running out on his family’s safety and he needs some money. So, he pops up on his mother and their interaction is what sparked my blog topic, life and death is in the power of the tongue.
Ironically in the first scene we are we are introduced to Dre’s mother; she is leaving church. So, the points I’m getting ready to make may offend but I’m called to tell the truth.
The mother of course is naturally disappointed by Dre. In her defense as a Mom we raise our children to the best of our ability with hopes they will go on and do great things. So, with Dre’s past I can see how she would be upset.
We are imperfect humans however with the holy spirit that dwells within us, it enables us to live a righteous life. So, it is our filler where we would be imperfect. Dre’s mother in that moment did not show grace. Imagine praying and being reminded constantly of our flaws. God reminds that we are free within him meaning that our shame and guilt was let free as well. We as Christians must walk in that and give that same grace to people as well.
The scene that really sparked deep emotions for me was when Dre told his mom everyday you called me a demon growing up. I was a kid! I thought of the scripture that states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.
Well what does that mean for us:
We all know that words are powerful right. I can either edify you with my words or tear you down.
Again, this scene touched home for me because I know as a mom, a counselor, sister, and friend that people will let you down. I shared this before, but I’ll share it again. My daughter had some tough years in middle school and I really wanted to give up as a mom. I was like God “this is too hard”, but that was the season I truly learned to give my worries to God.
I changed my words and how I prayed. I changed how I spoke to her. As Christians our words should build people up. So, I started to state what she was and what she wasn’t.
Dre Mom as a Christian in this show did the opposite, she gave power and authority to the devil. Remember he is the ultimate deceiver. Dre was a child and instead of building him up and empowering him, she used her words to tear him down and he carried the legacy of that particular word “demon”.
As a counselor a light-bulb stays going off in my head and I want to share with you all ways that I choose to build others up. Of course, you can modify and make it fit your personality, but the goal is to walk away with something you can implement immediately.
Compliment: I remember one day I was talking to one of my friends on the way to work. She was like wow you are really nice; you literally say hello and something nice about every person you see. I never noticed it, but I reflected that day and said I never know what people are struggling through so giving a nice genuine compliment can make someone’s day.
Encourage: I worked with special education students for years. It is not abnormal for them to feel discouraged and believe that they lack the inability to succeed even in the smallest task. I made it a point to celebrate their small achievements and encourage them daily. I wrote them small individual notes telling them their capabilities and what they possessed within themselves. They just had to believe and that’s what happened. They wrote me thank you notes and saying that they wouldn’t had achieved all that they did, if it wasn’t for me. I let them know I was just a mirror to the greatness that they already had inside of themselves.
Another way to build others up is by showing up and serving where there is a need. Dre may have been going down a bad path, but that’s our time to be more present. I looked at myself as a parent and realized maybe I was lacking in a particular area and needed to be more intentional about what my child was asking for without asking.
Practice grace, we are all on different journeys understand that. Forgive daily and turn around encourage. Ask what do you need me to do, in order for this to turn around?
Finally pray. This is the most powerful tool because God hears our prayers and I believe nothing warms God’s heart than our unselfish prayers about our loved ones. We will get let down, our feelings will get hurt, but instead of me attacking with my words. I go before God and reclaim the good within a person and I know God will fulfill that prophecy.
I want to challenge my readers this year, pay attention to the things that you say. Remember everything God created was spoken with words! So ask yourself am I building people up with my words or am I being a destructive and tearing others down?
Father God my prayer is that even in our most challenging seasons when dealing with others, that we choose to build. I truly understand the pain of being hurt by loved ones and how easy it is to want to cut someone immediately. Change our heart lord and create a group of radical Christians who choose to live a life after yours despite what culture teaches us. Let us grow with one another in love and build up a generation of empowered children, teens and young adults. It is in your name I trust amen.
Your Sista on the Sofa,