Will you join me for just a moment and set the to-do list aside for the day? Go on...Take a deep breath. Pause and allow your mind to think of the people God has surrounded your life with. Hurting people. Encouraging people. People within your family. The little girl behind the register. The person you work with. Your friends. Your pastor. Your spouse...
Proverbs 18:21 is so powerful: Here is what it says, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (NIV)
So how about it? Are you speaking life? Death? Do you purposely and intentionally make a practice of encouraging?
People everywhere are starving for affirmation.
Hebrews 10:25 encourages us saying, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (NIV)
The other day, can I just honestly share, I was tired. I wanted someone to encourage me. I found myself growingly frustrated with traffic. The little girl at the counter seemed a little too slow. The waiter didn't follow up or serve as frequently as I hoped. I found myself thinking, why can't people serve with excellence? Why do I always have to be the one encouraging?
WOW! WHAT ARROGANCE! The Lord quickly reminded me that I didn't HAVE to do anything; I was free to make my choice. He also filled my mind with a couple of other thoughts:
James 3:9-10 says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." (NIV)
I thought of the night that Jesus knelt down and washed the disciples feet--even Judas'!
In John 13:13-16 he left this simple command: "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." (NIV)
I humbly prayed and do so again today: "God, give me the eyes of Jesus, the wisdom of The Spirit, and the Heart of You My Father!"
Friend, life and death are in our tongue! Let us speak forth God's love, grace, mercy, and encouragement to everyone, every day, everywhere!