I grew up hearing the taunting song, “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Ofcourse we know that’s not true, words do hurt. But if words can hurt, words can also heal.
James 3:7–10 (ESV)
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Over the next few days I’m going to be hitting this topic: “Choice Words.” These are words that we can share with others that bring life and our society is desperate to hear them.
Think about the countless kinds of words that people hear on a daily basis: mundane, complaining, angry, critical, cutting, gossip, empty, lies…etc. The list goes on. What’s missing? Answer: words that build people up rather than tear them down.
When most people think about the grace of God they think about God’s unmerited forgiveness toward those that would follow Jesus. Yet God’s grace is also the goodness He gives us in this life: his characteristics, giftings, wisdom, endurance, the grace to walk through life. This kind of grace is rarely spoken of.
People only hear words of encouragement in our society when they earn them. But, people are valuable not because of what they do, but because of who made them. They’re valuable because they’re God’s creation. In everyone we can see a glimpse of God’s fingerprints, God’s grace evident in them.
For example, I might share with people that I see an incredible gift of creativity, a gift of patience, incredible focus, a wonderful sense of humor….the list goes on. I then point out that God is the one who gave them that gift. Sharing these choice words of God’s fingerprints and God given characteristics we see in them is a crucial aspect of sharing Christ and bringing encouragement.
I’d like you to pray about making it a point to share with three people you interact with, the grace of God you see in them. Pray about who God might be directing you to encourage with words of affirmation. When you do, you’ll be pointing past how great they are, to how great God is! I’m praying with you.
(Feel free to share this post if you feel it would be a help to others.)