The Power of One Word

airplaneWhile flying home from Denver, Colorada last week, I sat next to a man who was reading his Bible. We struck up a conversation and I soon realized he believed he had the spiritual gift of healing.

After giving me a couple examples of how he used his powers, he asked me if I believed what he was saying. I told him that my beliefs aren’t based on experiences, which can sometimes be deceptive, but upon what the Bible teaches. I then proceeded to explain 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 4 as he followed along in his Bible.

When I finished he said, “I see what you’re saying, and have never really studied this before, so I don’t have an answer, but what I do have are my experiences, and I know that God has given me the power to heal.”  So, for the remainder of the flight, (nearly three hours) this man recounted story after story of his alleged healings. I had already made my point that my beliefs aren’t based on experiences but upon what the Bible teaches, so as he shared these stories, I simply let him talk. There was no need to argue point by point with all the stories he told, but as I sat and listened, I wondered what I could say that would expose his error.

When we eventually touched down and regained phone signal, this man’s phone “dinged.”  He had a text message from his son. It was a picture of his son’s finger that had been cut while he was using a weed-eater. When this man saw the picture of his son’s finger, he said, “Oh no, my son has cut his finger and from the looks of the picture, he will probably need a few stitches. I need to get off this plane and take him to the hospital.”

It was then that I broke my silence and simply asked, “Why?” The man swung his head around and stared at me with a look that resembles that of a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. For a moment, he just froze. It looked like he was searching for words, but they escaped him. The force of that one word was convicting. This man just spent nearly three hours trying to prove had had the power to heal people, but his first thought when he saw that his son was injured was to take him to the hospital.

The take-away from this story is that one word that has the backing of Scripture is more convicting than thousands of words lacking Scriptural backing.

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