Today's reading: Proverbs 12:25; 15:30; 10:11
Today I selected three verses from Proverbs that highlight the importance of speaking words of affirmation and encouragement to others--words that are pleasant, good and meant to build up. Our positive and constructive words have the power to change the downward course of someone's day, or perhaps even their life.
I was at a conference a few weeks back where several young men from juvenile prison each spoke briefly as part of a presentation. One boy’s words moved me to tears. He was afraid, embarrassed and could barely look at the audience as he spoke. He told us he had not been a nice person and that his negative outlook and attitude had continued with incarceration. However, he was selected for a program involving a day outing with some disabled children. He explained that he saw a boy struggling to complete a task and how he decided to help him. The next day, one of his teachers thanked him for helping. She called him by name and said "You are really a kind person." Now, that may not sound like much, but to this emotionally wounded young man, that teacher's words were a fountain of life.
Looking at the floor, he told us that this was the first time he realized he didn't have to be bad, and that he actually was a kind person. At that moment he made the decision to change and stop hurting people. WOW!! A few intentional affirming words touched this boy's heart and changed his life forever!
"The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life..." (Prov. 10:11)
"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad" (Prov. 12:25).
"The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones" (Prov.15:30).
When someone offers you positive and encouraging words, what impact does it have on your attitude, actions, thoughts and words? Who will you speak affirming words to today? Will you be intentional about being a "fountain of life" to someone in need? Tami
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