I have four siblings, and none of us are considered “short on words.” Sometimes it’s great, and we all nicely take turns talking … but that rarely happens. We talk over each other whenever we can find the time to shout a few sentences. Sometimes we find ourselves yelling at people right next to us. We are only concerned with what we are saying. We want to be the only one defending, asking, or telling, and we expect everyone else to listen to us. All of us are left feeling exhausted from trying to be heard.
Last weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder acknowledged that while we’re inclined to choose words that will benefit ourselves, we need to choose words that are helpful for others.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them (emphasis added).
When I use words for my own benefit, I get worn out trying to make sure everyone hears me. But when I use kind and encouraging words, my actions not only help those around me but also fill me with hope and healing.
Shortly before Jesus was arrested, he spoke with his disciples and followers. Jesus knew that he would be killed soon, but instead of putting pain and fear into his words, he used them to uplift his disciples. Jesus knew that they would also face struggles, so he blessed and prayed for them. He didn’t stretch the truth or make everything seem alright. He used his words to bring peace and courage to his followers’ hearts.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
Jesus, the perfect example, chose his words to build up his disciples. He could have easily dominated the conversation by scolding or complaining to his followers. Instead, he chose to meet their needs with his words.
Let us follow suit, choosing words to encourage others!
How does it feel when someone uses their words to encourage you? How does it feel when you inspire others with your words? Who can you uplift with your words, today?
Think about the people in your life who could use a little support or cheering up. Next time you see them, give them a compliment or tell them that you are praying for them. Every time you find yourself trying to use words for your own benefit, pause and try to use them to help others instead.
Father God, you are the Creator of everything, including the words I speak. Help me to use my words to draw people to you and to glorify your name. You see how easily I get caught in using words for my own good. Remind me to choose words that will meet the needs of others. In your name, amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
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