“Each of us should please his neighbor for their good, to build him up.” Romans 15:2 NIV
“Two men who shared a hospital room ended up becoming friends. One was allowed to sit up for an hour every day. His bed was beside the window. The other man spent his life flat on his back. Each day, the man at the window would describe the activity and color of the outside world: the park overlooking the lake, ducks swimming, children playing, couples walking hand-in-hand, the skyline in the distance. His friend, who could see none of this, smiled and imagined it all in his mind’s eye. One day the man by the window died and his roommate moved into his place. He propped himself up to look outside and was amazed to see a drab cinder-block wall! Confused, he asked the nurse how come his friend had described the scenery in such glowing terms. She replied, “Actually, he was blind and couldn’t even see the wall. He just wanted to encourage you.”
Sheila Coleman Schuller shared this story in her book, Positively Powerful Words.
The power of an encouraging word is immeasurable. The Apostle Paul said, “Each of us should please his neighbor…. to build him up.” When we encourage another person, we are able to bring into focus, something we clearly can see in them. When a teacher tells a student he’s smart, he works harder and achieves more. When a parent tells a child she is loved, she has the confidence to reach for the stars. On the other hand, when a doctor tells a patient that he has a life-threatening illness, the patient often gives up fighting for life.
Consider this: God created you to have something that no-one else has – your eyes, your heart, your perspective on life. You have the ability to play a pivotal role in the life of another – helping them move along the path that God intended them to take.
God has certainly done that in my own life! He has placed strong, loving, life-giving relationships in my life. Relationships that recognize God’s best in me and actively speak life and encourage me to become the best version of myself that God created me to be.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us The tongue has the power of life and death.
And what a great gift, even a privilege to speak life into another person – to encourage the precious people that God has placed in our lives. Our encouragement with another person can bring into focus and clarity of who God created them to be because they are treasured child of God.
Whenever I encourage others, God encourages me. He allows me to become His agent of encouragement. And while there are many ways to bring out the best in others, in reality, it only takes one word, one step, one smile.
The power of encouraging words is immeasurable. Let’s use our words to encourage each other and build each other up to serve Christ and serve others.