A friend sent this card to me several months ago. She’s a mom with 3 little children, but she took time to share some kind words. (not to mention find a stamp and then actually get the card to the post office).
Why do I still have it? Her words spoke encouragement.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5.11)
I’m confident that she had no idea that I needed encouragement, because our conversations were about other matters. But, when I read her words, I thought, Wow, I really needed this. Thank you, God, for encouraging me through her.
God knows how the stuff of this life will rattle our sense of worth, purpose, or that we are loved. So, in various ways, he makes his value and love for us evident, and sometimes it’s through people—strangers, acquaintances, friends, family.
Do you realize that you are one of God’s vessels to communicate words of love and value?
Not one day when you’re comfortable with it, but now.
Not perfectly, just simply and authentically.
Not only to people you know, but to those he places in your path.
Begin with the spoken word. Take time to speak kind, thoughtful, encouraging, loving words.
Take time. Words take seconds to express.
Recently, Terrell and I went to a restaurant and we were told there was a 15 minute wait. Time passed and few of the people in front of us had been seated. Standing near the hostess station, I watched as one and then another came to the young woman and rudely expressed their frustration with the delay. A couple of minutes passed; I leaned toward her and whispered, I admire you and how you are responding to them. Your job is hard. She seemed to swallow tears and smiled a half smile. It’s hard to describe, but those minutes felt hard and holy at the same time.
Think of giving words as an offering, to God. Our words are to give, not to gain.
Maybe we don’t want to or it’s awkward or we’re hurting and could use some building up ourself. Yet, when we try, God shapes and grows his character in us as he works in the other heart, too.
” . . . remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20.35)
Can you think of a time when someone said something kind or thoughtful—and you critiqued their words? Of course not. Simply speak like you. Such words stick and slowly, even subtly, soak in.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16.24)
Begin in your home. Yet also, look way outside the realm of your comfort zone. Be God’s conduit. Reflect his character with simple words of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, even self-control. Invite God to help you—to know who and what to say—and be expectant.
I would love to hear your stories—whether you received the words or spoke them!