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Down with Put Downs – Play the B.U.G.

Gentle SpeechKey Bible Verse: Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.  – Proverbs 12:18.

Bonus Reading: Romans 1:11-12

Even as the words float off the end of my tongue, I realize that I’ve blown it. This kind of situation usually involves me saying negative words to my teammates or others. It’s so easy to become the “cut-down king.”

You know the routine. You call one of your teammates a name, and your other teammates laugh. You may try to justify your unkind remarks with the fact that everyone does it, but the truth is that those reckless words cut. They pierce like a sword and cause damage.

Instead of just going with the flow and drifting into the Cut Down Game, God desires us to play the B.U.G., or the Build Up Game. This game takes effort, and we have to be intentional to play. It doesn’t come naturally, either. But when it’s played, it’s awesome.

The B.U.G. blesses so many people. A friend of mine once said that everyone in the world is under-encouraged. I agree! I ask the Lord to show me ways that I can encourage teammates, friends, family members, and even people I don’t know. I want to build others up and show love through my words.

I believe that the tongue can heal. Are you ready to play the B.U.G.?

—Dan Britton in Heart of an Athlete

My Response: Have I realized that my words can heal? Where could I start?

Thought to Apply: Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.—Mother Theresa (Albanian missionary to India)

Adapted from Heart of an Athlete (Regal, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Teach me, Lord, what it means to have a Christ-like tongue. Check my tendency to tear others down; prod me to build them up.


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