“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” - Ephesians 4:29
“So encourage each other with these words.” - 1 Thes. 4:18
I have a ministry friend who has a great heart for serving people. He’s a sharp guy, but at times he is ”verbally challenged” in getting his point across. He has a phrase he uses when that happens - “Words are hard.” He’s probably gonna read this and hate me now. It’s ok. We’re pals.
But, words can be hard, can’t they? Whether it’s anxiety-driven, romance-motivated, or just plain uncertainty about the correct choice of words, saying what’s on our mind can be tough. That’s why words are so valuable! A well-thought-out compliment or taking the time to speak encouragement to another person can go a long way in making another person feel special. So, why don’t we do it more often?
It’s not that we don’t THINK it. There have been many times when someone has done something for me and I think to myself, “Aw, that was so nice!” You’ve heard the phrase “It’s the thought that counts”? Yeah, that’s not really true. People can’t read your mind. That’s why saying the words actually carries so much weight.
Now, it’s not like it takes any additional work to express sincere gratitude or give a compliment. You can say, “Thanks!,” but you can also take the extra step and say, “You were so thoughtful and that meant so much to me.” In other cases, you can say, “I love you,” but adding a reason why you love that person gives it the extra oomph it needs to make an impact in their life.
TRY IT: Make a point to verbally express a “thank you” to someone who has helped you today. Build on the “thank you” by elaborating on the effort they made toward you or how it made you feel.