The president of the United States, trying to make a joke amidst a group of reporters, came perilously close to setting off an international incident.
No, this is not a sentence about Donald Trump, or even any of the four presidents before him. Rather, it describes Ronald Reagan and a mic check gone awry thirty-six years ago today.
While preparing to deliver a scheduled radio address in 1984, Reagan said “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”
And though the press and aides in attendance found the remark humorous, Democratic opposition leaders—many of whom were already a bit nervous as a result of Reagan’s rhetoric about the USSR—were less amused when word of the incident leaked.
As far as the Soviet response, it is unknown what their leaders thought of the joke, though, interestingly, they performed underground nuclear tests on the same day.
My point in mentioning this story today is not to decry Reagan’s humor in the midst of tense times or draw any comparisons to political leaders today (on either side of the aisle). Rather, it’s to simply remind us that we should never underestimate the power of our words.
The power of your words
Granted, few of us can unnerve nations with a single sentence to the same degree as the President of the United States. Still, every word we speak in the company of others has an impact on how they see us and, by extension, our Lord.
That doesn’t mean we need to go around as humorless monoliths who never joke, laugh, or give each other a hard time, but it does mean that we need to do our best to weigh our words in light of the impact they might have on others.
The best way to do that is to ask the Holy Spirit to help…
WHAT DO YOU THINK?- We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
If you are not a Christian, and would like to become a Christian. Simply say - "LORD Jesus, thank you for forgiving me of my SINs, today I am deciding to follow you. Accept me into your family, in Jesus name I pray. Amen "
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