Like Apples of Gold: Encouraging Words

Doesn't this group look like they're having a good time? I wish I could eavesdrop on their conversations. I wonder what Renoir heard the day he painted this particular view?

Our words are powerful. As it reads in Proverbs ...

A soothing tongue is a tree of life." Prov. 15:4

A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word! Prov. 15:23

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances." Prov. 25:11

"Encouraging and affirming words--words of life, as I like to call them--have the power to give hope, to strengthen others to keep growing in righteousness. And if I, a grown woman, need them to keep me going through hard time, my children need them even more. Positive words act as water and sunshine to our souls to help them grow strong. Yet I have found that very few people really take the time to say those words that all of us, and especially our children, long to hear.

I love and appreciate you!

Your friendship means a lot to me!

I believe in you and in what God is doing in your life!

You are special to the Lord and to me, and I am praying for you.

Thinking good thoughts about someone doesn't really bless that person. We have to take the initiative actually to say the words--in person, through a card or email, or even though a phone call.

As I look to the life of Jesus, I see that He constantly blessed people with His words. He often spoke encouragement and affirmation directly to those around Him, or affirmed them before others." ~from The Ministry of Motherhood

And so I must learn to do the same. When a child or friend has a bad day, am I quick to point out how they've caused their issues? Impatient with listening if it seems I've heard them say something similar before? Am I longsuffering and kind to my husband? Do I feel the need to boast of my accomplishments when I am around other people who work in my field?

Sometimes encouraging words aren't said simply because I forget how important they are. And yet just a few moments of thought back to the last person who spoke affirming words to me brings a smile, renewed courage and strength for the tasks at hand.

May we all be encouragers--givers of courage!