I glanced through my journal yesterday and remembered a most yucky day…
I had fallen on an icy sidewalk. Someone had resigned and handed her responsibilities to me. Then a friend had let me down by forgetting an important meeting. It had been a most a discouraging day.
When these days strike, I feel like the target of the universe’s revenge for unknown atrocities. In my head, I recognize the series of unfortunate events, but my heart internalizes and personalizes them. The monologue of negative self-talk takes center stage and the last curtain call is far far away.
Recently I was having another one of these discouraging day, when a new message appeared in my email inbox. The subject line read “Hello”. It was from a ministry co-leader.
“Oh no, what now?” ran through my cynical mind.
I opened the email. It contained two short sentences that radically improved my attitude. She had taken time to send me a caring and encouraging note. It was as if she had stopped by my desk and helped stack the bricks of the crumbling day back upright.
Kind words have a profound impact. They offer a changed perspective. My friend’s email reminded me of the good stuff around me and the difference we are making.
Getting through a tough day, completing a challenging project, or making a decision becomes less of a struggle. At the risk of overstating, encouragement can actually further a dream even among unexpected complications.
Your Words Matter
The best words of encouragement emerge from being an active listener. We give the priceless gift of understanding when we hear and respond. It’s not that we need to solve someone’s problem. With courage and optimism, however, we can offer words of hope. Recognizing this good, creative, valuable aspect in someone’s life, offers huge encouragement.
As a follower of Jesus, we are called to love one another. One expression of this love is through encouraging words. Many scripture passages tell us to voice words of comfort and strength. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Here are two more: Hebrews 10:23-25 and Ephesians 4:29.
Let’s lift one another up, one encouraging word at a time!
Posted by Sharon R Hoover