Did you ever feel low in spirit, overwhelmed with cares and frustrations, then someone came and gave you an encouraging word and your spirit was lifted? The situation might not have changed, but because of that encouraging word, you felt strong. You began to see the light and there was a positive change in your spirit.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver ” (Proverbs 25:11).
In the Bible, King Solomon wrote some encouraging words, telling us about words fitly spoken to be “like apples of gold.” And in doing so, he actually gave us some golden apples. Solomon also confirmed his thought about encouraging words at verse Proverbs 15:23, saying “…a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”
Words are capsules for ideas, and when we speak words that are timely to others we are actually being oracles of God, giving words of comfort, counsel and instruction. It is truly a service to God.
Like Solomon, the apostle Paul knew the power of words fitly spoken.
“But exhort one another daily while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)
In Greek, the word given in the Scriptures for exhort” means “to encourage, to strengthen” also “to call near” and this gives us a picture of friendly warning or counsel being given.
This text is striking in that it also reminds us that if there is any good thing we ought to say to another, be it an encouragement, pleasant words or counsel, we should say it while it is called “Today!”
Tomorrow might not be ours, so say it “Today” while we are yet in the living years. This admonition of the writer of the Book of Hebrews is a fitly spoken word to each of us.
Also, we should not let the opportunity for giving a friendly compliment to another pass us by. When we thus encourage others, we help them build enthusiasm and confidence. This also boosts hope, comfort and peace of mind.
We give fitly spoken words to others by reminding them that God is good “all the time…” and is faithful in fulfilling His promises. Also, by reminding those in times of despair, that “the darkest hour is always before dawn…” and “beyond every dark cloud is a silver lining…” As simple as this is, it helps boost hope for better times. Encouragement is medicine to a soul in despair.
When we are encouraged, two things happen: one, we are blessed because our spirits become lifted and this helps us to keep focused and receive from God, and two, those who encourage us are blessed because they gave spiritual help. And from the moment we become lifted, negative thoughts and distressful feelings begin to diminish.
Even if it is a .05 degree of stress lifted, it is a healing to the inward being and reflects in the outward life as changed attitudes and renewed hopes. Many are living in an existence, dry and parched, needy for a word of hope and encouragement from day to day. We all are needy for kind words, thoughts, and actions from time to time, to carry us along the streams of life.
And in many cases, all it takes is an encouraging word to brighten our day, whether it be verbally or by way of a greeting card. Many people have had high hopes for good things at some time in their lives and things did not work out in the way these people thought they should. Their hopes have been dashed. They are disappointed and frustrated.
These people, more than any other need to be encouraged and reminded of the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promises, in His timing, of course.
Here are some words fit to be spoken to others
“Be strong and of good courage…” The foundation of strength and good courage begin with faith, and encouraging words help to increase our faith. The strength that emerges is not that of muscle and limbs but a quiet, inward strength which is an attribute of God. It gives us confidence and the will to move on.
Most importantly, give fitly spoken words to children and youths to raise their self-esteem, reminding them of their potential as children of God.
The youths of today are the visible molds for society in the future. We need to seek out the good in the youths, tell them about it and give encouragement. Tell them while it is called “Today.” Great and wonderful things could emerge from our fitly spoken words and the world will be a better place.
In summary: Courage is opposite to fear and doubt. It is a steadfastness and perseverance that can emerge when we are encouraged. However, there are times when we have to encourage ourselves against fear and doubt by creating statements of fitting words and speaking them to ourselves and affairs.
Suggested Readings: Exodus 14:13, Isaiah 41:13, Matthew 9:2, Matthew 17:7, Acts 23:11, Acts 27:22, Hebrews 3:13.
Reflection: God commands me to encourage others. I must practice seeing the good in others and give encouragement.
Prayer: “Thank you Father for those who encourage me, and give me wisdom to encourage others and be blessed. Amen.”
Dr. Monica Hernandez is a certified Christian counsellor and hosts the radio program The Revealing Word heard on on JOY 1250 AM every Sunday morning at 8:30. You can also listen in at www.joyradio.ca