Acts 11:23, “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord”
Words of encouragement and not discouragement can be “life words” touching the lives of so many people in ways we often will never know. Individuals sometimes come into our personal world for a brief moment and leave us forever changed. Maybe you know of someone who had an impact on your life by what they said. We have more power to create or destroy than we can imagine, just by what we say. We can either leave individuals better or worse off than when we met them.
A look, a word or two, or even a gesture may have such a tremendous impact on people who come into our lives. Have you ever said or maybe heard someone else say nothing but bad things about an individual? Instead of recognizing the good in people, we tend to notice only their faults. We should carefully examine our speech habits for careless words, and then resolve to build up those individuals we meet.
Remember that people need encouragers more than they need critics. Ephesians 4:29 tell us, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification.” The apostle Paul said that when we edify or encourage others through our speech, we impact grace, or spiritual benefits, to their lives. He was a great introducer who spoke highly of his colleagues in the faith and ministry.
His letters are dotted with the names of men and women to whom and for whom he was deeply grateful. When the apostle Paul closed his letter to the Romans, he publicly commended those who had helped and encouraged him in the work of the gospel. He not only greeted them by name, but he also expressed his gratitude for what they had done. What an example for all of us to follow!
The story has been told of an eccentric old man who carried an oil can with him everywhere he went. If he passed through a squeaky door or a stiff gate, he applied oil to the hinges. His practice of lubricating made life easier for those who followed after him. Nearly every day we encounter people whose lives creak and grate harshly with problems. In such situations, we face two choices, either to aggravate their problems with a spirit of criticism or to lubricate their lives in the Spirit of Christ. Some people we meet carry unbearable burdens and long for the oil of a sympathetic word.
Others are defeated and feel like giving up. However, just one drop of encouragement could restore their hope. Still others are mean and sin-hardened. Such people can become pliable toward the saving grace of Christ through regular applications of the oil of kindness. When we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells us and equips us to bless others. If we’re prepared to pour out God’s oil of helpfulness every day and everywhere, beginning at home, we’ll minister Christ’s beauty and the oil of joy to many hurting people. So, perhaps the old man with the oil can wasn’t so eccentric after all.
Closing thoughts: As we think about our relationship with Jesus Christ and the people God has placed in our lives; some for brief moments and others for a longer time, we would do well to consider the importance of our words and what kind of influence we will have on them. In a world dominated so much by discouragement, let’s resolve to master the art of building others up by what we say to and about them, rather than tearing them down.
So, if you have received some unexpected encouragement today, or maybe last week, thank God for it. Moreover, when the Holy Spirit leads you to encourage someone; go ahead and do it. The power in words can build up or tear down, Create a big smile or produce a sad frown; So in all your contacts with people each day, Be sure to encourage in all that you say – Fitzhugh
An encouraging word can rekindle warmth in the heart of one who has lost hope.