Few people if any are motivated by harsh, discouraging words. “What’s wrong with you?” “Can’t you do anything right?” “Get your act together!” Not much edification there.
Encouraging words inspire. “You can do it!” “Way to go! I’m really proud of you.” “Great job! You’ll do even better next time.” Just hearing those words brings a smile to your face.
Of course, there are times when words of correction are needed. We don’t always get it right. But even then, correction can be done in a life-giving way. Paul said we are to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). He also talked about bringing correction with meekness and humility (Gal. 6:1). Speaking words of correction is like painting a house. The paint goes on better with a brush than a hammer.
As Christians we need to be really good at speaking encouraging words because the world can be a very discouraging place. There are times when you want to change the words of the old song to say, “Where seldom is heard an encouraging word!” The world can beat you down…fast!
So Paul gave this timeless word of instruction to Christians everywhere, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29).
While I don’t know what your week holds, I can guarantee that you will cross paths with people who are in need of encouragement. Some, desperately in need. Don’t be like the priest and levite who saw the need and chose to do nothing. Be a Good Samaritan and speak a word of encouragement. It will only take a few seconds, but what a difference it will make!
Pastor Todd Weston