For Many years I have known that our words are powerful tools that God has entrusted to we mortals. The Bible makes it clear that with our mouths we offer blessing and healing, and we can also tear down and destroy. You and I have been shaped by words that were spoken to or about us. Each of us can remember a stinging rebuke directed toward us when we had failed or done something wrong. Embarrassment still rises in us as we replay the words in our head. It is equally true that we feel a little taller and stronger when we recall a kind and encouraging word spoken into our lives, when we desperately needed the encouragement. The power of this truth was demonstrated to me at a lunch this past week. While attending a meeting for Nazarene District Superintendents in Milwaukee, I was eating lunch along with four Superintendents, when the subject came up regarding District Superintendents we had served under when we were pastoring. One of my friends described an incident from his life. He had experienced some difficulties in his first assignment as a youth pastor, and felt the need to move. He became a youth pastor at a church and his pastor who later would become a DS, was a source of encouragement for my friend. My friend said that he went into the pastors office for a meeting, the pastor told him what a good job he was doing. After the meeting was completed as my friend got up and was walking through the door, the pastor called him by name and said…you are a pro, you know what you are doing, keep up the good work. This incident took place more than three decades ago, yet my friend had tears in his eyes, and his voice was full of emotion. A sentence said many years ago, still had an impact on this man.
Encouragement is something we can offer to a hurting bruised world. In case I had forgotten I saw firsthand this week the tremendous power of our words. If we reflect on what we have said this week, what would be the verdict? Have our words helped or hindered someone? There are times when we have to be truthful and even blunt in evaluating situations. Yet is there a concern that we have been given over to negative words most of the time? Our children need encouragement, our spouses need kind words, as does everyone we will meet this week.
My advice for all of us this week is simply, weigh our words. Will we speak helpful, healthy healing words this week? Someone this week will need an encouragement vitamin from you, are you willing to be a dispenser of gracious words of encouragement? This week we may speak words that will impact someone for the better and it is as simple as a kind, encouraging word. God ahead make someones day!