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In his book “The Weight of Your Words” author Joseph Stowell tells the following story:

My junior high school had scheduled its annual operatic production. Talented students were quick to try out for the various parts. I was not so certain of my abilities and had decided that singing in an operatta wasn’t really for me.

Then Mrs. Wilson, my music teacher, asked me to try out. It was not a coveted role, but it did have three solos.

I am certain that my audition was only mediocre. But Mrs. Wilson reacted as if she had just heard a choir of heavenly angels. “Oh, that was jusst beautiful. It was perfect. Your are just right for the role. You will do it, won’t you?” I accepted.

When the time came for the next year’s operatta, most of the students who had played the leads the year before had graduated. And Mrs. Wilson had transferred to another school. In her place was a rather imposing figure who had an excellent singing voice and a sound knowledge of music theory.

As tryouts began, I was ready. I felt confident that my talent was just what the operatta needed. With approximately 150 of my peers assembled, I knew everything would go well.

But if I live for an eternity I will never forget the words spoken on that day. When my audition was completed, the teacher asked, “Who told you you could sing?”

The timid youth of a year earlier was suddenly reborn. I was totally destroyed. Harsh words are bad enough under any circumstances. To a young idealistic boy, they can be devastating. From the time those six words were stated, it took eight years and coaxing of my fiancee before my voice was raised in song again.

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