Wednesday, December 1st
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. ~ Ephesians 4:29
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
A positive statement propels hope toward a better future, it builds up your faith and that of others, and it promotes change. ~ Jan Dargatz
Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push – a smile. A word of optimism and hope, a ‘you can do it!’ when things are tough. ~ Richard M. DeVos
There are numerous stories of those remarkable times when a simple encouraging word made a great difference in someone’s life. Words of encouragement can serve as one shining light for another’s path, one small nudge toward a better direction, one gentle reminder of one’s goodness and potential. Some of my memorable ones are: “You are a good daughter” (after I had been in trouble). “I would keep this paper if I were you – it is excellent” (from an 8th grade English teacher). “I will make you cancer-free” (from my dear oncologist).
One of my favorite ways to share encouragement is to pass along uplifting words that I have heard others say about someone. My pastor had expressed his appreciation for Joe, the helpful employee at our local grocery store. The next time I saw Joe, I shared what I had heard about him, how my pastor was so grateful for his helpful spirit. Joe’s face lit up with a smile as he almost incredulously asked, “Really?” I could tell this brightened his day. We are encouraged when people tell us the good qualities they see in us, but even more so when we learn that they are talking about our good qualities with others! To discover that we are being remembered and appreciated, even in our absence, makes a powerful and positive impact.
Today, let’s be mindful of opportunities to speak words of encouragement to others, to give them hope by sharing our hope in them and for them; to share the hope we have in Christ for new beginnings and fresh starts.
Speak. Who might need your words of hope and encouragement today?
Prayer: God of all hopefulness, keep me mindful for opportunities to speak a word of hope for others. Guide my words to be uplifting, kind, encouraging. Show me who may need a shining light toward a brighter future, a nudge to pursue a dream, or a reminder of one’s goodness and potential. May my words reveal the hopeful presence of Christ for all who need to hear and know today. Amen.