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The Power to Do ....?

One day, many years ago, I sat in a very familiar room. It was one of the examination rooms for Pediatric Cardiology, buried deep in the UAB complex of medical buildings. We were waiting for the doctor who had guided Lauren’s cardiac care for the previous 20 years.

He came in and described her last procedure. He made some general observations and patiently answered our questions. In the process of predicting her long term care he made a passing reference to a drug that many patients must take and that Lauren might have to take, at some point. But then he added very soberly that very often it was better to take those drugs only when absolutely necessary, because “any drug that has the power to do great good also has the power to do great harm. They’re like a double edged sword.”

I thought deeply about that particular phrase for a long time as I drove back to Huntsville. There are so many things that could be described in the same way.

Friends are wonderful and I have benefited so much from mine. But care must be taken. Proverbs 13:20 says that if you spend your time with wise people you will become wise, but if with fools you will be destroyed. I know people whose “friends” ruined them.

Words are far more powerful than most of us realize. We throw them around so casually. With words we can bring great comfort (1Thes. 4:18) or great pain (Acts 7:54). The words “I do” spoken at the right time can bring about a binding companionship together for life, or can signify one’s intention to testify truthfully in a court of law. Words can break us free or break our hearts. Even the words we think, but never say, are powerful and can control our moods and desires (Phil. 4:8).

What about something as small as looking at others? What Sarah saw in Hagar’s eyes made her act harshly (Gen. 16:5). What did Peter feel when the Lord looked at him (Lk. 22:61)? David looked upon a woman bathing and was filled with lust (2 Sam. 11:2-4). The Samaritan looked upon a man in need and was filled with compassion (Lk. 10:33).

Ah, yes..... anything that has the power to do good has power to do harm. Let us determine in our hearts to use all of our efforts, large and small, for good and the glory of God.

- Tim Orbison


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