Play the B.U.G.


"A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment." -Proverbs 12:17-19 (NIV)


Even as the words float off the end of my tongue, I realize that I have blown it. This kind of situation usually involves me saying negative words to my teammates or others. It’s so easy for me to become the “cut-down king.” It doesn’t take much, and it could involve something as simple as calling someone a name.

You know the routine: You cut one of your teammates down, and your other teammates laugh. You may try to justify your unkind remarks with the fact that everyone does it, but the truth is that those reckless words cut. They pierce like a sword and cause damage.

Instead of playing the Cut Down game in which we just “go with the flow” and cut others down because everyone else is doing it, God desires us to play the B.U.G., or the Build Up Game. This game takes effort, and we have to be intentional to play. It doesn’t come naturally, either. But when it’s played, it is awesome.

The B.U.G. blesses so many people. A friend of mine once said that everyone in the world is underencouraged, and I agree! I ask the Lord to show me ways that I can encourage teammates, friends, family members and even people I don’t know. I want to build others up and show love through my words.

I believe that the tongue can heal. Are you ready to play the B.U.G.?


1. Why is it so difficult to build others up? What is in your heart that prevents you from blessing others with your tongue?

2. Do you believe your words can heal? Has anyone ever healed you with his or her words?

3. What is one way that you can play the B.U.G. on your team? With your coaches?


Psalm 15:2; Proverbs 16:21; Colossians 3:16


Lord, I play the Cut Down game way too often. Today, I desire to start playing the B.U.G. Teach me ways to build others up so that I can be a blessing. May my words heal, not damage—may they lift others up and not pull them down. I know people in my life who need to receive a word of encouragement. I pray for opportunities to bring life with my words. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
Colossians 3