Words of Encouragement

Growing up we had an older neighbor who would often go out walking after supper.  On his wanderings, he would often stop to chat.  Once when I was about ten or twelve, my dad wanted me to do an errand for him. I did what came naturally, to someone born out in the boondocks.  I ran to do the errand. Running back to where my dad and the man were standing and talking, the man looked at me and said, “You are really good at running."  I had never given it much thought until that moment. Later, in high school gym class, we had to run a mile.  While I like sports, I was never extremely good at sports, but running was different. Some were dismayed, but I was happy because I remembered what the man said.    I ran like the wind.  I am sure I did not come in first, but I was in the top three. I stood a little straighter after that because I knew that I could do something that not everyone could or wanted to do, run.  No, I never joined the track team in high school. I wasn’t that popular.  In College, I let fear keep me from running cross-country even though I would probably have loved it. It was forty years ago that the man who lived up the road told me I was a good runner, but I have never forgot what he said. It sparked in me a love for running. Now, at fifty-something I am running and loving it. It is amazing how often the words of encouragement that we speak can breathe life into someone. As Christians, one of the things we are to do is encourage others.  Find positive things to speak over others things that will build them up in their faith.  Often I find myself focusing on what people aren’t rather than what they are.  I am sure God would rather that we intentionally look for good things in people and point out their good traits and abilities.  You never know what your words of encouragement will do or how badly someone may need to hear the words.  Your words may restore the hope and focus that they thought was gone.  It may give them confidence to step out and take a chance. Who knows where your words of praise will take the hearer.

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

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