1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” This sounds simple, yet it’s not always easy. I see the importance of it, and I have seen how God uses my words to encourage, affirm, uplift another person who needed to hear what I had to say. God was using me to share with them.
But what about those times when I don’t feel like encouraging someone, when I feel hurt, when I feel discouraged, when I feel angry, when I feel betrayed, when I feel defensive, when I feel alone…Those are the times when I go negative. And those are the times when I also see the power of words.
Negative or positive words can determine my mood or the mood of someone else. I want to be known as a person who encourages and uplifts. I don’t want to be known as a person who is always negative. I’m not sure anyone would ever say they want to be a negative person, but more times than I’d like to admit, I have to apologize for my directness, for sharing my opinion unnecessarily, or for being judgmental towards someone. Words have the power to change a person. Words have the power to change me. There’s a reason why the book of James warns us about how powerful words are and directs us to use them carefully.
My prayer for this year is that my words are encouraging and uplifting to those around me. My words are not used for my own personal gain, but to help others come closer to Jesus. So I ask for you to pray for me and with me as I journey towards listening more, talking less, and being helpful in my words.