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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Posts Tagged ‘power of our words’

Why Saying No Is Sometimes Better Than Saying Yes

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Leadership

Recently, I was contacted by an artist, that were I to mention their name to you, you’d most certainly think I was awesome. I could play it all cool and name drop it like it’s hot and you’d probably look at me differently and would say something like, “oh man, do you think you could get me tickets or an autograph or…”

I know this because even a couple of my closest friends, who I love and respect did just that.

Why Saying No Is Sometimes Better Than Saying Yes

Photo Credit: Robb North via Compfight cc

Funny how that works!

Now I’ve been blessed to work alongside some truly gifted people. I’ve watched oceans of fans, scream and worship at the altar of adoration. And I’ve been a part of some of the awesomest experiences you could ever imagine!

It would have been a great joy and honor to work with this particular artist, and maybe one day I will.

But as of right now, who knows.

I’ve not been told yes, or no.

And that’s frustrating.

But it got me to thinking about how many other times in my life, I’ve sat waiting for a response of some kind.

So many times I’ve either mustered up the courage to ask for help, or cried out in agony seeking help, only to be on the receiving end of a giant abyss created by the absence of response.

“You’re actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a man and father, I’m teaching my kids, especially my boys, the power of their words. But even in that message rests an even greater truth – that the absence of our words says more than our spoken or written words ever could.

Something mystical happens when we speak words into existence or write them down. (that would be an awesome tweet)

I’m learning that as a leader, one of the greatest gifts I can give someone is the gift of a no.

And if you’re anything like me, that’s hard to do. I want to please everyone, make everyone happy. I exhaust tremendous amounts of energy trying to stay one step ahead, managing everyone’s expectations and trying to ensure their needs are met.

This is dangerous, not to mention, an incredibly unhealthy way to live.

But we don’t always choose to live healthy lives, do we?

Instead we do whatever it takes to meet our perceived need or unmet longing – many times at the risk of being healthy.

That’s why we refuse to respond sometimes, or resist to set a boundary, telling someone no. We’re afraid we’ll make a mistake, or even worse, hurt someone’s feelings.

“Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” James 5:12 NLT

It’s one of the simplest definitions of character and integrity, letting our yes be our yes and our no be our no.

I can’t tell you how many times I would have loved to hear a simple no.

Whether it was from an employer, or from a friend, to have been told no would have been so much sweeter to hear, than the cavernous echo of nothing.

What would you rather hear?

Being told no can be a beautiful thing, because it sets a boundary, and boundaries are good things. (another awesome tweet)

Have you ever been on the receiving end of that cavernous echo?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were glad to hear a no?

Share your comments below!



Posted on: July 19, 2013

I’m Sorry Is No Longer Good Enough

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community, Leadership

I often communicate about the power of our words. Words, both written and spoken, posses a raw innate power to dramatically alter the course of any outcome for good and bad. History provides us with some pretty clear pictures of such instances. Roosevelt’s speech after the Pearl Harbor attack, JFK’s inaugural address, the movie The King’s Speech, and Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a dream speech are just a few examples that continue to gift us with images and memories of times both triumphant and harrowing.

Additionally, it’s easy to weaponize our words, wounding others with them and even easier to weaponize the lack of our words, inflicting a whole different kind of injury.

I'm sorry

Consider these 2 exercises.

First, try to remember back to the first time someone you loved dearly told you they loved you back. Think about how that felt? Try to remember the details. Where were you? What were you wearing? What were the sights, sounds and smells? I bet you can remember every little thing about that experience.

Second, think back to a moment when you were wounded by someone’s words. Something may have happened and you just needed to be reminded of your worth. You just needed to be told you were loved or gently reminded that everything would be ok. Ask yourself the same questions above. What stands out to you from this memory?

Moments and experiences like these create markers in our lives. Those markers are what shape our stories and give us clues into our own hearts.

This is precisely why I no longer say the words “I’m sorry” when seeking forgiveness.

And lets face it, I’m a guy and have to do this often! Too often I’m afraid.

The words “I’m sorry” are far to easy to say. They carry almost no weight and frankly cost very little to say. We say we’re sorry when we bump into someone in a mall or when we accidentally get in someone’s way. We say we’re sorry when we forget to hold the door open for the person who sneaks in behind us, or when we laugh out loud in a library. We say we’re sorry to the trite and trivial but when we find ourselves needing to ask forgiveness, the words “I’m sorry” simply just aren’t enough.

Think about it this way.

You’ve been crushed. Your heart is in pain and someone has just wounded you dearly. What would you rather hear in that place; “I’m sorry” or “I need your forgiveness, would you forgive me?”

The words “Forgive Me” carry a whole different weight. They invoke a different context, a disarming context. They communicate an understanding of what was made wrong, and a need for it to be made right. Healing is made possible because of this.

And wouldn’t you rather be a part of the healing process instead of hindering it?

Tim Keller writes an awesome article on Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation here. I won’t try to summarize it because I could never come close to do that well, but I love how he says it comes at a cost and is at the very heart of what it means to be a christian.

We all make mistakes. We all cross boundaries. We all hurt and wound others with our words, but next time try being intentional and using the words “forgive me” instead of “I’m sorry” and see what happens.

What do you find yourself saying more often “I’m sorry” or “Forgive me?” What would you rather hear?

Share in the comments below!


Posted on: July 2, 2013

Awesome Community: Do you have one?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

“They need you more than they even realize.”

That’s what a good friend of mine said to me the other day. I had no idea that he was in town and luckily, we were able to grab lunch and catch up. It had been a while since we’d seen one another and it was good to just be in each others’ presence. I began to tell him about a project I had become involved with, and as it turned out, he knew the other guys involved.

That’s when he said it, and boy did I need to hear it!

It was almost magical, in its soothing qualities, and healing in its delivery.

I had no idea just how much I needed to hear those words.

That’s what community is all about.

Strike that. That’s what AWESOME community is all about.


Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

Tim Keller beautifully describes this in his book The Reason for God.

“Ultimate reality is a community of persons who know and love one another. That is what the universe, God, history, and life is all about. If you favor money, power, and accomplishment over human relationships, you will dash yourself on the rocks of reality […]
[it is] impossible […] to stay fully human if you refuse the cost of forgiveness, the substitutional exchange of love, and the confinements of community.
[…] We believe the world was made by a God who is a community of persons who have loved each other for all eternity. You were made for mutually self-giving, other directed love.  Self-centeredness destroys the fabric of what God has made.”

If you haven’t made Tim Keller’s books and sermons a part of the filter by which you process your story and the world, then it’s probably a good time you did, because you’re missing out on one of the brightest gospel centered minds in America.

Question for you:

Do you have a similar story of where someone revealed to you what AWESOME community looks and feels like?

Share it with us below!

Posted on: March 21, 2013

The Power of Using Our Words to Love Others

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community, Leadership

I thought I would begin this week thinking about the theme of community and loving others well.

I haven’t always done that, and its been those closest to me that end up hurt the most.

One thing I have learned along the way though, is that the power of our words and more importantly the power of our words when used to love and encourage others well can change everything!

I came across this video yesterday and was brought to tears.  I just love whats going on. I’m not talking about the coolness factor or hipster vibe, but rather, I’m talking about people loving people and using their voices to complement one another.

It’s just beautiful! Take a look…

I love the father in there who starts off by saying, “the compliment that I’m going to give you today, that I’ve never given you before…”

How cool is that?

This just proves once again, there is power in our words and power in the awesome experience!

Now let me ask you a question.

Do you do this for others?

Do you find the time, or rather do you make the time to be intentional and compliment, encourage, and love those around you?

Maybe its time to start.

Posted on: March 18, 2013

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