Monday, June 2, 2014

The Power of a Good Word

     Several days ago when I was in need of a little encouragement, a friend of mine made such a sweet comment to me.  I knew she meant it and the good word she gave me brought a smile to my face.  We all need a reason to rejoice every day.  After all, this world is filled with many negative encounters, and we all know that life can hand us some difficult situations.  This is all the more reason why we need to share a good word with those around us.
     According to Proverbs 12:25, we read:  "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad."  Is it any wonder many of us are filled with anxiety on a daily basis?  Consider the newspaper we see each day.  How many good news stories are printed there?  I venture to say it is a rare day when we read something like that.  However, when we do, we find ourselves more upbeat.
     For Christians, the ministry of encouragement is something that everyone can participate in no matter your age.  A simple kind word spoken to someone can make their day so much better.  Ephesians 4:29 reminds us:  "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  If we take time to build up others rather than tear them or others down, think how much of God's grace we are able to share.  Certainly my friend did not have to take time to write me a note when she did, but her words gave me a peace in my heart.  They were good words not corrupting words that only bring more anxiety.
     Not long ago, a salesman came into our office to see if we had made a decision on a product he offered.  He told us confidentially that he really did not need to stop by, but he was trying to break up his schedule since he had a really rough day.  As we talked with him, he alluded to the fact that some on his work team were undercutting his work and taking his customers.  He could hardly believe they would stoop to that.  We spoke a few words of encouragement to him and told him that we appreciated his honesty in dealing with us.  He told us upon departing that he always felt good about coming into our office because we were always so kind and upbeat.  I am sincerely happy that we were able to be a short respite in his otherwise unhappy day.  It doesn't take much to lift someone else up.  A kind word goes a long way.
     Other verses from Proverbs also tell us what a kind word can do.  Proverbs 12:18 says:  "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."  Then in Proverbs 16:24, we read
Kind words written in love make a heart glad!
:  "Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."  I love the way that good words are likened to sweetness that brings a healing to the soul and heart of another.  Rash words cannot do that, but gracious words can.
     In order to speak a good word to others, we must be rooted and grounded in Christ.  The fruit of our lips come from a heart set right by the Lord.  This is why David prayed to the Lord these words in Psalm 19:14:  "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."  We need to ask God, as David did, to allow us to speak and think acceptable things so that we may produce good words that come from a right heart.
     We also need to look for right opportunities to speak those things which will lift up a brother or sister.  In other words, we need to be ready in season and out of season to speak those things which will edify others.  Colossians 4:6 reminds us:  "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."  Oh, if only we could stop and think before we speak so that our words are always gracious.
     There are several things in life that we can give in abundance and it doesn't cost us a thing:  1) we can give away our smile to others and 2) we can speak a kind word of encouragement to make someone's day brighter and better.  Consider the many we can offer this too:  shut-ins, our pastors, our church leaders, our fellow employees, our spouses, our family members, and our friends.  The list is endless, but for those of us who are called to be ambassadors for Christ, we can and must make a difference in the lives of others.  Let us start by speaking a good word to another in sincerity.  It can relieve his anxiety, soothe a broken heart, and bring healing to a soul.  May we glorify God with our lips today by graciously speaking kind words to those around us.  Selah!

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