I spoke of how I had done a bad job with words during the month of May last week. (http://thrivingingrace.com/words-can-heal-and-words-can-destroy/) I reminded myself and us all that our words could heal as well as destroy our relationships with each other. Now, it’s time to talk about being generous with our words.
Being generous. In my small corner of the blogging world, I’ve met some incredible people from all over the world including two young people from Nigeria who share my faith. It’s been interesting and enlightening to get a glimpse into their culture and the things that matter to them. Through their writing, I’ve learned how they are different from me and how they are the same. It reminds me of the Scripture from Acts 2:44-47. “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Even though we are different, we are still the same because we are all children of God.
You might wonder why I write all this in a post about words. Well, the words of our posts are what offer encouragement and community to each other since we are located halfway across the world from each other. When I see a post from either of them, I read it and comment if God leads me to do so making sure I tell how it encouraged me and what a good job they did with the post. More often than not, God has given them words to help me grow in my faith, and I make sure I say that as well. They are both neat young people, and it has been a joy to encourage them.
This is what the author talks about in today’s devotion. God wants us to speak words of grace and love into the lives of others. There’s a verse in Proverbs that describes what this looks like. From Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
These words are a pinprick to my heart; actually, they are several pinpricks, enough to where I’m bleeding. I know I haven’t done well with this. In fact, I think we all have problems being gracious with our words. It seems like every time I turn around people are being ugly with their words. We use our words to hurt others and to gossip, and we don’t care who we hurt. We also lash out at others who hurt us not caring that we are doing the same thing. We live in a polarized world.
God wants us to be different though, and He showed me how through an encounter yesterday at VBS. I have been assisting in different areas this week, and yesterday, went to an area called Kid-Vid. The lady in charge has younger children, and it had been awhile since I had seen her and had an in-depth conversation. She knew my younger son had just graduated from high school and wanted to know what both of my kids would be doing this summer and next year. Then, she asked me what I would be doing since she knew I would now have an empty nest. She seemed to be genuinely interested so I told her about this blog and the stories and books I hoped to write–the things I wanted to pursue now that my children were grown. I was so touched. I’m not sure she knew how much it touched me because it was just an ordinary conversation. But, to me, it was invaluable and a soaking of love for my soul. She showed interest in the person I am and hope to be, not the person she thought I should be. She spoke genuine interest and love into my life and made the loneliness go away, if only for a moment. God used her to show me what generous words of love looked like, and I will never forget how those words made me feel. Thank you, sweet sister!
What she spoke into my life was a direct reflection of this quote by the author in today’s devotion. “When we put God’s Word in, diligently and routinely, the lesser things fall away. God makes us new, again and again, and we can be intentional and generous with our words to ourselves, to each other, and to God.” (100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs) I want to be like that. I want my words to heal hearts instead of hurt hearts. I want to feel confident in who I am in God’s eyes so I can speak like that into the lives of others.
I think this might be why God has put me on this journey to bravery, and I want to end with these words from the author as my prayer for us and especially for myself because I know I need it most of all. “Friend, be brave. Be different in a world that uses words to hurt. Use your words to heal, and use them often. Give those words of life, the words found in Scripture, to as many people as you can.” (100 Words to Brave, Annie F. Downs)
Praying God’s blessings on you all today!