The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. Isaiah 50:4
Words have the power of life and death, so James tells us.
Yesterday a sweet friend sent me an email and she told me how much she valued my friendship. Words of love and appreciation followed, and how much encouragement and vision I had provided in her life and an example for her to follow.
My whole day was changed. She spoke hope into my life. I felt more adequate for what she had taken the time to plant in my mind and soul.
Scripture tells us that a good word at the right time is of great value:
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11
Words give hope to the discouraged. I was talking to one of my children who is struggling with jobs and finances and I invested words of affirmation, exhortation, believing in this child's abilities, seeing God grow character through the trials, saying how proud I was.
I believe in you.
You are such a dear friend to me.
Your integrity has been such a model for me to follow.
I love you for going to work every day and serving me and the kids so diligently. You are a wonderful provider.
I love who God has made you.
I appreciate your faithful heart and the ability to keep going even in hard times.
I love you for knowing me and still loving me, a rare trait unconditional love!
Our children need a treasure chest full of our good words to draw from in challenging times. Our words literally build their garden of their soul.
Two days ago, I talked to one of my children, quite discouraged by months and months of an uphill climb in this challenging life. I intentionally poured out scripture, love, affirmation, exhortation, belief in God working even as we waited, and love to this child. Today, another phone call came. Seems the words set this child to pondering God's life's work and dreams and plans for this one, and consequently, this child was greatly encouraged to trust God for life's challenges--dreaming dreams of world changing again. Words are there--as the proverb says--aptly, at the right time, to do their work.
Words are created to be a spring of life by the Word of Life, Jesus, who uses people with real bodies to give His own encouragement through the life pouring out from our hearts as a result from being with Him.
Words can also devastate and kill. Words that should never be uttered out-loud. Words stick in the soul of children, a husband, friends, Christians, non-believers. Words can spread hurtful gossip, hate, bitterness--it sets aflame all sorts of contention. Controlling our words is an amazing work of the Holy Spirit.
Often, when I would feel lonely or discouraged in my own life, I would choose 5 people that I loved and appreciated and write them a note or email telling them of their great worth in my own life. I found that when I sowed words of life and love, my own heart would always become encouraged. Kind of like choosing to begin making a list of all I have to be thankful for, makes my heart grateful.
Who needs you to write them a note of life-giving words today? Who needs to hear your words of love and encouragement in person or on the phone? Who are the five people that God could use you today to give them just what they didn't even know they needed, but would change the course of their day?
Words must also be initiated to be useful. It is no good just thinking appreciation. Words are water to thirsty souls, food to hungry hearts. May we pour out a flood of great words today and see the lives of people who need to hear God's voice, be changed by the grace that He uses through us to give to them who are longing for a touch from His Spirit.