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Vince Lombardi, the famous football coach, had a unique way of inspiring players. He once blasted a player on the field, telling him he was slow, weak, and stupid. The man was so demoralized he was ready to quit football. But later, in the locker room, Lombardi came up behind him and said, “Son, one of these days you are going be the greatest guard in the league.” Suddenly, that player felt 10 feet tall. Words can demoralize or inspire. During a perilous storm in the Mediterranean Sea, 300 people feared they might perish. Luke, the author of Acts 27 tells how Paul’s words encouraged them. Luke wrote, “Just as day was dawning, Paul urged everyone to eat. ‘You have been so worried that you haven’t touched food for two weeks,’ he said. ‘Please eat something now for your own good. For not a hair of your heads will perish.’ Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before them all, and broke off a piece and ate it. Then everyone was encouraged and began to eat — all 276 of us who were onboard.” Even though Paul was a prisoner, he was God’s agent for good. He recognized a problem, proposed a solution, inspired hope, and set the example by his own actions. That is what effective leaders do. A man of faith with practical wisdom can be a great asset during tough times.

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