"A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions.
When they saw how deep the pit was, the rest of the dismayed group agreed that it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead.
Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless, and that the two frogs wouldn't be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible.
The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead. The two frogs continued jumping as hard as they could, and after several hours of desperate effort were quite weary.
Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellows. Spent and disheartened, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died as the others looked on in helpless grief.
The other frog continued to jump with every ounce of energy he had, although his body was wracked with pain and he was completely exhausted. His companions began anew, yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and -- wonder of wonders! Finally leapt so high that he sprang from the pit.
Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his miraculous freedom and then gathering around him asked, "Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?"
Reading their lips, the astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and that when he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.”
This little story reminds us once again of the power we possess as we speak. As Solomon says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” Proverbs 15:4 (NIV). Our goal in life is to help people develop Christ like character – to work hand in hand with Jesus helping others be all He wants them to be. We hold a crucial weapon in the use of our speech to encourage and empower people when they need a lift.
The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV). The late William Barclay understood Paul’s writings when he wrote, “One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement… It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.”
I suggest that when shopping opens up again, we all go to the Dollar Store and pick up a cheap frog. Then, we proceed home and put it somewhere we can see it every day to help us remember this simple story. We all can play an important part in someone's life by what we say; our words can heal, help, empower and guide others towards a joy filled day. They can literally make a world of difference. You and I have that power by God’s grace. So let’s be a little froggy in someone’s life today - help them have a little “spring” in their step.
God bless you all,
Love - Pastor Ralph