A few words matter
It’s amazing how much difference thoughtful encouragement makes in a person’s life (or lack of it can hurt). In the past 24 hours I’ve had a negative example of this (thanks to myself) and a positive one (thanks to a woman named Jan). Reflecting on my poor job of encouragement and her good one here’s a few things I pull from them:
- Encouragement means the most when it is well-thought out and goes beyond cliche. Jan said some things to me this morning and it was powerful because her words made it clear that she understands my heart and what I hope for. She had thought about what she wanted to tell me and articulated it very well.
- Encouragement means a lot coming from people you respect. None of us have much control over this in our relationships with others–especially in an immediate sense–but by living lives of integrity and love people will grow in respect over time. My point here is not how to gain respect, only that encouragement from someone we respect is very meaningful.
- We need to be careful with our words. In my recent failure in encouragement I chose a way of saying something (even if it was subconscious) that came across as discouraging. I could have communicated the same message in a much more encouraging way. I was reminded of how powerful words are and that I should be more careful how I communicate things.
- It’s easy to forget to encourage the people closest to you. I don’t know why, but it seems easy to forget that the people we’re around the most need our encouragement as much as the people we see once in a while (or even more).
Share some thoughtful encouragement with someone today!