Words of Encouragement
I’m an “external” process speaker – what I mean by that is I actually process what I’m saying while I’m saying it much of the time. I don’t always take it all in, ponder it, access my thought bank, and then reply. I often speak off the cuff and if truth be told I am often thinking of that reply and not always “listening” and contemplating what the other person is actually saying. It’s a bad habit and I know it. However, knowing it and then doing something about it are two different things. My husband on the other hand – an “internal” processor. He’s a thinker, and often this thinking seems to me to go on for an extremely long time before he speaks. Sometimes I will even ask, “did you hear me? ” His usual reply – I’m thinking about it. I bet you can see how this goes in my house. Does it seem like a familiar scenario to any of you? Sometimes I can be a little impatient and not very tactful. I have even been accused of being overly “wordy” on occasion according to my husband and sons. That’s why Pauls directive in Ephesians 4:29-32 hits home with me:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”.
I need to do more of what Paul is saying here. I need to listen more and speak less. I need to concentrate on speaking encouragement and positivity whenever I can. I need to look for the good and not always expect the worst and I need to pay attention to the people I love and give them my full attention and the focus they deserve. I need to be respectful of their “own” ideas and comments. Why does it seem so much easier to point out the faults of others rather than find the words to uplift them?
We say to ourselves, Oh they know I love them or they know I didn’t really mean it when I said that – but do they really?
Expressing gratitude, kindness, and compassion and even saying I’m sorry is awkward for some of us, it doesn’t mean we don’t feel it, it’s just hard to show it sometimes. It’s worth the effort though especially to those we share our world with. We have all heard the saying “if you have nothing good to say then say nothing at all”. Maybe when we have that urge to speak harshly or make that snarky comment or get impatient with people we should take a minute and think and pray about it first before we say something we might later regret. Imagine how much more pleasant the world would be if we all could just try a little harder to do as Paul suggests.
I’m a work in progress, I’m better than I was but I also know I can do even better.