Now this a short post, but has been pondered for a while. For over a year God has been showing and teaching me about the power and importance of verbal encouragement. Lately I have become so much more aware of how words can be used to shut down or build up a person. I’m up for the odd bit of banter, but I’ve realised that so often my words can be used for a much better purpose.
It’s clear to most that kind words can put a smile on someone’s face, but a little while ago I read something* which completely changed the way I viewed verbal encouragement. Words do more than just uplift someone, they have the potential to speak courage into situations – the clue’s in the name, enCOUARGEment. Someone may be facing insecurities, doubt or fear and your words can speak courage into their situation.
This really touched me, and so I have been trying to invest more consciously in speaking words of encouragement to people. I have also been looking into what biblical encouragement looks like. The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom when it comes to the use of our words, here’s some of the things that struck me:
YOUR WORDS CAN TRANSFORM SOMEONE’S HEART & REVERSE DEPRESSION
“Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down,
but an encouraging word brings him joy.”
YOUR WORDS CAN BRING LIFE
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life”
YOUR WORDS CAN HEAL
“..but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
And Proverbs 16:24
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
YOUR WORDS HAVE PRECIOUS TIMING
“Like golden apples set in silver is a word spoken at the right time.”
Something that will stick with me from my time in Ghana was a comment that the President of the Disabled People’s Organisation made. In an inconsequential conversation, he said something, which to me, was very profound:
“I don’t want to speak to their ears,
I want to speak into their bones.”
– Honourable Gilbert –
So, my friends, just a short post with a few thoughts, but I challenge you to listen well, speak life, and speak courage into people’s bones.
*The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman.
Featured image is from our base Song Café, a time when we encourage the students from the School of Worship – J.Fraire Photography (go check his work out) http://jarffraire.wixsite.com/jfrairephotography