“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25 (ESV)
Index cards were given out to each student in the class. Their homework exercise was to write one affirmation statement about each name on the card. Sounds easy enough. But, how about the person you just recently met. What do you say? How about the person whom you have developed a friendship?
At the next class, students stood in a circle, cards in hand, and read the statements written one by one; each time facing the person whose name was on the card in front of them. The students being read to, had to respond with a thankful statement. One could see apprehension on the faces of the students. Some students confessed to struggling with the exercise. It caused them to dig deeper and really see the person of whom the statement was being made. As the statements were being read, the student’s faces softened. Their countenance changed. For some, the statements affirmed gifts they didn’t see themselves having. For others, it was an affirmation that they were where God wanted them. The warmth was contagious.
I once had a Sunday School teacher who taught a class about encouragement. I remember her commenting that if one look hard enough, one could find something good about everyone. She lived her teachings as well. She was known as the “license plate” lady in my hometown. So, of course she met just about everyone in that town. One day, I was working in her office when an unkempt gentleman approached the window. Being much younger, I didn’t always keep my tongue the way I should have. After the gentleman was served and left, I made a comment about his appearance. Her comment to me was, “Yes, but didn’t he have beautiful eyes.”
What about you? What do your words and actions say to or about others?
Dear Heavenly Father, through your Word, we find encouragement. Thank you for the people you place in our lives to share your Word and offer us encouragement, even in the times we don’t know we need them. In Christ name we pray. AMEN