I can’t speak enough about words of encouragement. There is a spiritual gifts test you can take and one of the gifts one can have is exhortation. When taking that test, I’ve always wondered why someone would not score at least marginally on this category. My husband, who is a wonderful, loving person, honestly shared that encouraging others is a gift, and he struggles to actively encourage. He has never needed affirmation (not his love language) so actively affirming does not come natural. Mind you, he is not a mean person!
I highly encourage the book The Five Love Languages to know your child’s and spouse’s love language for further study. They offer a FREE test! (click on the title of book to go to website)
In my class on Saturday, all my colleagues were giving presentations. Public speaking will bring out EVERYone’s need for affirmation, I don’t care what your love language! We took the opportunity to encourage each other on, clap, and engage. It made the difference.
Last week my daughter came home and shared that a stranger approached her and said he was waiting all day for God to show him who to give this quote he found in his family member’s journal to. It was found after the uncle’s death and in the going through of his possessions. He shared with Victoria that he could see a light in her – a caring spirit. (Jesus)
“Man cannot for long conceal his inner thoughts. If negative, they will cast a shadow over the light within him. If positive, they will create an image of brilliance revealing devotion to duty.”
How do you think that made her feel? How do you think it made the giver feel? I wish you could see the handwriting on the paper of the quote. Precious! For it to be found in such a random way and shared? I don’t know. Talk about your connecting of dots and synchronicity….
What little notes, or words extended do we have no idea will make a difference in someone’s life? We may never see or hear of it. What inner thoughts do you have about yourself? Is it casting a darkness over the light in you? Or, is it positive creating an image of brilliance, revealing devotion to your duty. Duty? I think of what Jesus said, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” – The greatest commandment; To love Jesus with my heart, soul, mind, body; To love my spouse and children deeply; and lastly, to love what job or task God has put before me for the day. Will His brilliance shine through? Oh Jesus! Please help us to love ourselves in the light of YOUR love no matter what is said or done in this world along our journey. Jesus – please give me the strength to pour out Your love in small things like doing dishes to big things like a demanding job task. You, Jesus, in everything, making everything YOU. I don’t want to see anything but YOU.
I’ve discovered that our mouth has such ability to change the tide of a situation, or even the lack of words can make a difference. Some things are better not said. Proverbs has many verses about wise people being quiet people, and fools having a chatty Cathy mouth. That’s definitely my paraphrasing, and if your name is Cathy (I’m sorry!). Let me go get that verse.
Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllll actually there is more than one verse! Check this out! You can read the few I posted, or go to the website by clicking the words “Check this out!”
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent. …
Just as I was typing this up, Valentina (my 8-year-old) brought me a gift. It’s a handmade paper pocket for us to put encouraging notes to each other. Hmmmmmmmmmm isn’t God good like that? I’ve always wanted to write a song called, “God is good like that!” It would defiantly be an upbeat full gospel song!
Disclaimer: This house is prone to fits, unkind words, and folly. Please don’t read this post and believe a second that some families are like Mary Poppins – “Practically Perfect In Every Way!” I’m a realist and know as soon as I finish typing this, one of my children may need correcting, or me! What we do in this life is learn and study God’s Word and try our best to apply it to our daily lives. I stress the word try. In the trying we create opportunities for growth not only in doing the right thing, but also in mercy and grace. AMEN!