I am the Sum Total

Several years ago, I was driving one of my daughters to a cross country meet a few hours away from home. Always careful of what I say on race day so as not to ‘jinx’ her, we sat quietly for most of the trip. Finally, curiosity got the best of me, so I broke the silence with this question. ‘How do you think you’ll do today?’ Her answer was most interesting. ‘Mom,’ she replied, ‘When I woke up this morning, I looked into the mirror and said to myself, ‘You’re gonna win!’

And she did.

I have often wondered how that race would have played out if she would have had a different confession that morning. What if she looked at herself and said ‘You look terrible.’ or ‘There are other girls racing today that are so much faster than you. Just give up.’

Joel Osteen, one of America’s foremost Christian influencers said this ‘I am the sum total of everything I have been confessing through the years.’

While I do not buy into a name-it-and-claim-it religion, I do believe that our words have power. Just as God created everything that exists with the spoken word, so do our words shape and mold our own existence. Imagine, our little tongue has the power to set the course of a lifetime! No matter what our circumstances might be, we have the option to speak about them in a life-giving, hope-filled way, or to offer words that produce hopelessness and discouragement.

I don’t know about you, but Joel’s statement feels like an ‘ouch’ to my soul. I know I can do better with my words. After all, there is only one race for me and I plan to win!

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