I was having a yucky day. I fell on an icy sidewalk. Someone resigned and handed her responsibilities to me. A friend let me down by forgetting an important meeting. It was a discouraging day. As I was about to log-out of my email at the end of the workday, one more message slipped into my inbox. The subject line read “Hello”. It was from a ministry co-leader.
“Oh no, what now?” ran through my cynical mind.
I opened the email. It contained two short sentences that radically improved my attitude. She had taken time to send me a caring and encouraging note. It was as if she had stopped by my desk and helped stack the bricks of the crumbling day back upright.
Kind words have a profound impact. They offer a changed perspective. Getting through a tough day, completing a challenging project, or making a decision can become less daunting. My friend’s email reminded me of the good stuff around me and the difference we were making. At the risk of overstating, encouragement can actually further a dream even among unexpected complications.
The best words of encouragement emerge from being an active listener. We give the priceless gift of understanding when we hear and respond. It’s not that we need to solve someone’s problem. With courage and optimism, however, we can offer words of hope. Recognizing the good and creative aspect in someone’s life, offers huge encouragement.
Practical Tips and Tools
As a follower of Jesus, we are called to love one another. One expression of this love is through encouraging words. The Bible calls us to voice words of comfort and strength. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
On your next occasion for “small talk,” be an attentive listener. Then … change your world one encouraging word at a time!
Posted by Sharon R Hoover