The Gift of Words
"The tongue has the power of life and death..." (Proverbs 18:21). This was true for me today. I was having a not-so-great day, as I was observed during a lesson and my performance anxiety got the best of me. It was not good. And I really struggle with failing. So in the midst of preparing for my next lesson during planning time, I had this ongoing dialogue inside my head. It went something like, "I'm smart, right? Am I smart? What am I doing? Do I even know what I'm doing? I'm just not good at this." Seriously. I went spiraling quickly. Then I received a short, encouraging note from a friend I rarely talk to. And my spirits were lifted. It was honestly a life-giving moment. And that, along with my loving husband gently convicting me with the words I had written just one day before, changed my entire day. Hope was breathed right back into me.
Have you ever felt like encouraging or complimenting someone but you held back? Have you ever thought about writing a short, encouraging note to someone but you just brushed it off or changed your mind? Maybe you thought you weren't significant enough to them for it to make a difference, or maybe you thought it just wouldn't matter. Perhaps you just didn't get around to it. My encouragement to you today is this. Please do not be a person of good intentions. Rather, become a person of bold action.
If you are reading this, there is a great chance that at some point in my life I have thought about writing you a note. Maybe several. Seriously. I think about it all the time. I think about encouraging someone during a difficult time, thanking someone even for the small things, letting someone know how valuable they are and how I notice God using them. (Or even telling someone how much I like the blog they just wrote!) What's crazy is, I think about writing notes to people literally all the time. Yet it seems like I rarely do. I seem to think I don't have the time or the just right card or the stamp or the address, etc. I usually just think I'll do it later. Ridiculous excuses. In actuality, I simply don't take the time and I'm numbed by the fear that it won't be just perfect. Thus, the thought often remains an intention for a lifetime, never becoming an action God can use. Literally everyone loves to be thought of and encouraged and built up. Quite possibly they painfully need it. And tragically, there are thoughts inside our minds that could be gifts of life to someone else, yet we selfishly keep them hidden.
I know Jesus was not a man of intention. He was completely a man of action. His whole life was devoted to doing God's work, not sitting around thinking about how it might be a good idea for him to do it. He was literally selfless. He did not have great intentions to love others, he did love others. He was obedient to his Father, and was devoted to others in love. He did not hesitate. And his devotion changed the course of history.
"The tongue has the power of life..." What an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to use you to breathe life into someone today. I'm thankful to my friend who did not hesitate to listen to God's leading today. What a blessing to think God would inspire you or put a thought in your head to encourage someone so that He might speak to them through you. You never know. My mom still remembers when her third grade teacher told her she had a beautiful smile. The phone call you make, the note you write, the compliment you give could turn someone's entirely bad day into entirely something else. Without hesitation, what one person could you encourage with words today?