On Sunday morning, as we drove the less than two miles to the church building, one of the tires indicated low pressure. No biggie, right? The weather has been changing and occasional low-pressure things are to be expected. My husband and I agreed that I would get it checked out Monday morning before I went to a birthday lunch and before driving to Monday night rehearsal.
On Monday morning, I cleared the warning to see my miles until empty (another thing I had to do before ballet rehearsal). When I arrived at the tire place instead of seeing a tire pressure of 27 in the offending tire, it said 12! Sure enough, there was something in the tire.
A bolt like this one is an important tool when securely fastened. When it comes loose, it becomes a source of danger. Our words and actions are much like this little bolt. In James 3:9, we read, “With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it, we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” The passage continues, saying, “This should not be.” Proverbs 18 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Sadly, we’re often careless with both our words and actions, letting them fall where they may, causing harm.
Jesus warned the crowd, specifically the Pharisees, saying, “For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37). Our words make an impact on others. How often have you been discouraged by a negative comment, reassured by a kind word, or uplifted by a compliment? Words have power! (For further study, read Hebrews 10:24-25, Romans 15:2, and 1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Don’t be a bolt in the road! Be the bolt that connects securely! Routinely tighten your bolts and check yourself. Are you encouraging? Are you considerate of others with your words? Do you strive to build others up? OR are you careless with your words, speaking before thinking? Do you intentionally tear others down, belittling and condescending to build yourself first?
When you are deflated, IMMEDIATELY seek help. When you find yourself in times of discouragement, don’t wait for a flat or blowout! Start looking for ways to reinflate as soon as possible. Read through Psalms and Proverbs. Talk to good friends – specifically ask them to pour into you. Pray and ask others to pray with and for you.
Whenever possible, avoid harm. We all have people in our lives that dwell in the negative. They drain our energy and hurt our feelings. Many people like this don’t even realize they are causing harm. Attempt a conversation using “I” statements (I feel ___ when you ___). Sometimes, it is necessary to set a boundary and avoid such negative interactions, especially if the actions continue after the confrontation.
I’m happy to report that the tire was easily and quickly patched, inflated, and back on the road. Little things make a big impact, whether it is a bolt in your tire or a thoughtless word. I cannot control the debris in the road, but I can control my words and actions.