Speaking the Right Word at the Right Time

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)

The wisest, most mature, and most effective people are those who capture a moment by saying the right thing in the right way. Quite often, their statements seem to come from out of the blue because the tone of voice and the actual words speak a very different message from what most people expect. Instead of returning anger for anger and backing people into a corner, they calmly speak truth and give options. Instead of being annoyed by a boring person and walking away, they engage in deeper conversation. Instead of using a person’s fears to control him or her, they soothe fear by speaking words of hope.

Researchers tell us that communication is largely nonverbal. Only 7 percent of the impact is in actual words. Facial expressions, gestures, and the tone of voice make up the rest. Words can be “fitly spoken” only if we say them with authenticity, really meaning what we say, and letting our faces, hands, and tone of voice carry the message too.

Messages have incredible power. They can build or destroy, instill hope or take it away. Think about the people you will see today. Some of them are hurting, some are angry, and some have lost hope. What would it mean for you to communicate powerful, life-giving messages of faith, hope, and love to those people?

Encourage One Another

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….” 1 Thess. 5:11 (niv)

Without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless, and our will to go on wanes. Discouragement is not an uncommon human experience.  At times, recognizing that there is meaning in the seemingly inconsequential things we do seems next to impossible. We may want to give up. Yet He who calls us is faithful, and He gives us the power to be faithful, too (1 Corinthians 1:9).

– Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a holy way.
– Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved (seeJohn 13:34-35).
– Encouragement gives hope (Romans 15:4).
– Encouragement helps us through times of discipline and testing (Hebrews 12:5).
– Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-26).
– Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom.

In short, encouragement makes it easier to live life!

– Without encouragement, life would soon feel pointless and burdensome.
– Without encouragement, we can be overwhelmed by the very real pains of our lives.
– Without encouragement, we feel unloved.
– Without encouragement, we begin to think that God is a liar or is unconcerned with our welfare.

So, the Bible tells us to encourage one another, to remind each other of the truth that God loves us, that God equips us, that we are treasured, that our struggles are worth it.

More people fail for lack of encouragement than for any other reason.
—Author unknown

The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond our wildest dreams.
—Sidney Madwed (b. 1948)

We should readily and liberally give the gift of showing faith in others. As many of us can testify from personal experience, it’s been God’s and others’ faith in us, and their seeing the good in us, that has helped us to reach success after moments of despair and times when we’ve questioned our self-worth.

A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.
—William Ward (1921–1994)

Trustworthy friends are a strong shelter; whoever finds one has found a treasure.
Trustworthy friends have no price, and no one can estimate their worth.
Trustworthy friends are life’s medicine, and those who fear the Lord will find them.
—Sirach 6:14–16 CEB

A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.
—William Penn (1644–1718)