Matthew 3:17 “and behold a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’”
This first time I ever heard that scripture, it was written on my heart because it was something I longed to hear. As a child, we receive correction and sometimes praise. In my life, encouragement was hard to find. My parents were not taught how to encourage when they were growing up. We tell our children they can be anything they want to be. But sometimes that is a little too overwhelming. I do not mean that you should pick something for your child to be and encourage them to do that; however, opening the world up and saying here you go it pretty BIG.
Words of encouragement are like tokens of affection that are stored in the hearts of the receiver. So many times we believe because we around someone that they know they are loved by us. If you do not hear those words often, at some point doubt creeps in. I knew I was loved but desired to hear it. I desired to hear that they were proud of me. I told my aunt once that I wish I could hear those words. My Mother started saying them to me at weird times. Words not meant hurt worse than those unkind words spoken in the heat of the moment. Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
James 3:5 “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” How we use our words can destroy a forest within someone. But our words can also provide a raft to someone who is drowning in a sea of doubt and despair. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” But are we really doing this? Are we teaching our child how to do this? If we were successful in our teaching of encouragement, then there would be a lot less bullies in our school system. We would not be losing our children to suicide. We also would not want to commit suicide.
Words I have heard most of my life: “Stupid”, “Ugly”, “Too Skinny”, “Anorexic” “Desperate”
Words I longed to hear: “Smart”, “Pretty”, “Acceptable”, “Loved”, “Genuine”
Words I think of towards myself: “Loyal”, “Humorous”, “Passionate”, “Worthy”
I challenge you to change your words, teach encouragement and then live out a life of encouragement. Read this scripture this way, “an behold a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son/Daughter, _____________, (your name in the blank) with whom I am well please.’” What would it take to hear those words? It really isn’t about action; however, would God really say those words to us if our actions did not line up with His actions? He loves us regardless of the things we do, and He is proud of us for accepting His gift as our Savior. But does He shake His head when we tear someone down with our words?
Hebrews 10:24, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Our words can make a difference. Our words will come back to us at some point. Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, one the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak.” Our words can heal. Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
How will you use your words?