“Pressure is earned.” I love that quote from PJ Fleck for several reasons. First, it reminds us that there is always a different perspective. So many people see something like pressure as being only negative. Second, it reminds us to consider what comes with the pursuit of excellence - pressure. Pressure in such a context is not only good but evidence of a decision made to live beyond one’s comfort. Third, it reminds us of the power of the tongue. I would like to focus our attention on this third reminder for a moment. It is so easy to speak in ways that not only discourage us but also discourage those around us. It is so easy to speak in ways that close doors, instigate worry and kill dreams. Most of us don’t mean to use our tongues in such negative ways. It often occurs due to lack of thought and lack of discipline. One of the best things about Christian discipleship is that it constantly deepens our relationship with God’s Word. Over time, God’s Word begins to infiltrate our thoughts and change the way we speak. A perfect example is found in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” (ESV) That one phrase can do wonders in helping us discipline our tongue. Another verse is Ephesians 4:29, “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word is a gift.” (The Message) It is tempting to dismiss our words, both those we speak and those we fail to speak, as being of less importance than our actions. In truth, the two are inextricably linked. So speak life. If you will speak life, when pressure comes it will be transformed into something that is positive. I am so thankful for the pressure that comes with the pursuit of excellence and the hunger to live for something more than self. This is the way we raise the bar on our discipleship.