2 Timothy 2:25-26 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
When I read the words, "held captive by him" I thought of Elizabeth Smart. I watched her in an interview recently talking about her days of being held captive by an evil man. People has ask her why she didn't run when she had a chance.... she said that his word were stronger than any chains that had held her. And she had been held by chains too, so she knew how powerful words were. Her captor had said that he would hurt her family if she ran. But first he had broken her, before he had ever let her go unchained.
Sometimes people we meet have been held captive so long by Satan that they are easily lead around. They can appear like they want to live like they are living, when in fact they are crying out for somebody to save them. So often we can do that with kindness, with loving words and actions. Sometimes we can get through enough that they can hear God again.
Once a police officer asked Elizabeth if she was Elizabeth Smart, she said no and he walked away. The police officer that saved here didn't give up... he kept talking long enough to make her feel safe, he saved her life.
What if you or I were held captive? Would we want somebody to judge us for who our captors made us be... or would we want somebody to see deep inside us and know that it was us? I would hope someone would know that I was somewhere deep down inside and would stay around long enough to change my life.
We never know what kind, loving words we say are the very words that make someone able to walk away from Satan. Our words may not seem to matter at the moment, but when day when we are way down the road, too far to see, our words make make somebody able to break down a door and run. Our words may want someone want to pick up their Bible and see what God has for them. If we share the truth of God, the love of God those unseen chains my fall away and that person may be able to run into the arms of the Almighty.
That police officer that stood there and made Elizabeth Smart feel safe made her able to run into the arms of her earthly father... we need to be as kind and stand as firm as that man stood. Doing so could make all the difference.