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Everybody Can’t Speak Into Your Life

Updated: Apr 16

There is also a lesson in being mindful of the words we speak over the lives of others. The Bible reminds us that there is life and death in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Instead of speaking life to Job and his condition, his friends found fault seeking to tie his misery to something he had done.

When I was in graduate school, I had a professor who didn’t seem to care for me. I was the only Black person in his class, and I was often ignored or dismissed. He was kind and friendly to other students but when it came to me, he had no patience or tolerance for anything. I remember submitting a paper and when I received the grade, I was baffled.

I explained that I had worked so hard on the paper and I wasn’t clear on why my grade was so low. He remarked, “I don’t know how you got into graduate school. You can’t write.” I was floored. I knew I wasn’t a New York Times best selling author at the time but throughout my undergraduate studies, I never had an issue with any of my professors.

As a History major and an English minor, I wrote consistently and never had that type of feedback in my life. In retrospect, his comments served as a catalyst. I could have easily given up because of his title, position, and age and allowed his comments to determine my immediate reaction and future possibilities. He didn’t deserve that power over my life.

Nearly 30 years later, I’ve authored books, been quoted in major publications, taught at a number of universities and spoken to audiences all over the world. What if I had allowed his perception of me to deter me from achieving my goals? What if I had given up and settled for his statement as fact?


Too often, we allow the thoughts and opinions of others to jade us and impact our trajectory. It isn’t that I didn’t work harder because of what he said. I did. I also knew that I couldn’t give up on my future especially when knew that God had something special for my life.

You must be careful about who or what you listen to. Although I wasn’t close to this professor and didn’t have much of a relationship with him, many of us are wounded by those who are close to us. Their words can pierce our souls because of the relationship and proximity we have to them. Sometimes their words maybe well- meaning and out of concern.


We also know that there are times that those words can be malicious and damaging. Job in the Bible experienced the painful words of loved ones when he suffered tragedy and loss. In Chapter 2, his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, arrived to support him after they heard about the calamity he experienced. In their desire to offer support and console their friend, they began to blame Job for his condition.


Their lengthy speeches were filled with concern but laced with condemnation. Job finally remarked: 16: 2 “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.”

God ultimately condemns them in Chapter 42 for their rhetoric. Yet, think about the amount of time Job heard their words along with his wife who encouraged him to curse God and die? Had he listened to their council, Job would have missed out on seeing the hand of God in his life. He could have given up.

There is also a lesson in being mindful of the words we speak over the lives of others. The Bible reminds us that there is life and death in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Instead of speaking life to Job and his condition, his friends found fault seeking to tie his misery to something he had done.


Job needed in that moment friends that would be supportive, kind, and probably silent. He was already rehashing what happened and didn’t need their judgement combined with what he was thinking and experiencing. My mother would always say to me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” I think more of us need to be quiet.

Our words are powerful and impact those around us especially our children. What are the words that you are speaking over the lives of your children? About their Father? Don’t allow the pain of your past show up in your words that can cause damage for a lifetime.

Be careful of placing your insecurities and frustration in the words that you use. Everybody should not have the power or the place to speak into your situation. Speak life over yourself and your child and if necessary, be silent allowing God to show up in your situation.


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