Their words revealed where God had showed up. They talked of hidden places only God could uncover.
I saw gratitude. Resolve. Empowerment. Purpose. Rejuvenation.
And as I sat on the plane headed home from speaking at a retreat last weekend… I wept.
I was deeply moved.
Without my knowledge, each woman had taken a moment to write me a gracious note of thanks while at the retreat.
They have no idea what that did for me.
Each note I opened was like unpacking a treasure.
And I love that these handwritten notes are tangible evidence of their hearts.
My women’s small group does this, too.
For birthdays, we celebrate each other with written words.
In our notes, we share encouragement…
we speak blessings…
we write about our hopes for their year…
and we let them know just how special they are.
These notes speak life.
I get responses on my blog or private emails from people sharing how my words have impacted them. How something I unpacked connected to their heart, causing them to see their situation differently.
Written words are powerful.
My women’s group also spends time laying hands on and praying victory, provision, healing, wisdom and countless other gifts over each other. We call down the Kingdom of Jesus on one another’s behalf.
When times are tough, we remind each other of God’s power. We share testimonies of where God’s worked miracles.
At events, women pull me aside and tell me how victory or freedom in my circumstances has given them hope and resolve in theirs. For them, my stories of Divine intervention restore hope.
Spoken words are also powerful.
“Gracious speech is like clover honey – good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
“Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other…” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
“So continue encouraging each other and building each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
“Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.” (Ephesians 4:29)
I wonder … Do you use your words like this – or not?
Because whether meant for good or for harm… the words we speak and the words we write hold power.
Can you think back to the last time someone spoke or wrote a note filled with compassionate and merciful words to you?
Do you remember the last time you were big-hearted in your verbal or written affirmations towards another?
Sisters… we’ve been given the opportunity to share words of life to the weary. We have the privilege to strengthen someone’s frame with expressions of hope and encouragement. Our vocabulary can have a profoundly positive effect on another.
Yet so often we just don’t take the time.
We withhold our verbal support because of anger or hurt.
We sit in judgment and curse others.
We gossip, spread rumors or divulge secrets.
Ugh… But this is not who we are created to be.
God fashioned us to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)… and the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
We are called to bring hope. To show love. To offer help.
And we do that with our words.
So what if instead of criticizing and condemning and convicting, we decide to speak gracious, life-giving words to…
- Our husbands
- Our children
- Our friends
- Our co-workers
- And those others who cross our paths each day.
… What if we decide to surround ourselves with those who choose do the same?
We can do this.
We need to do this.
We’re called to do this.
Sisters, let’s purpose to encourage deeper… affirm faster… advise wiser… and respond sweeter.
REALITY CHECK: Love others with your words.
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