“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.”~Romans 12:8
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”~Yehuda Berg
Yehuda Berg’s above quote is a beautiful description of what words can do, and when they are encouraging words, wow, they can be a game changer. One of my stronger personality traits is encouragement. Having a friendly demeanor is the way I can express the joy I have in my life. Yehuda Berg is a Rabbi and an author as you can probably tell from the quote. He lists six H words that help show how words can affect others. Four of these H words are discouraging; two are encouraging. It’s interesting to note he uses more words for discouraging than he does encouraging. The idea is that it’s easier to be discouraging than it is to be encouraging. For me I have an easy time than most because this personality trait is stronger in me. We all have the capacity to do all of these personality traits listed as I stated in the intro to this series, but some of us have to work harder than others on some of these traits. I added three more H words that encouragement does for us: honor, heighten, and hearten.
Encouragement doesn’t hinder, but it heartens. When you hinder with your words you are slowing down someone’s progress in this life. What I mean by progress is the courage to step out and take a risk, the courage needed to make faith steps. When we look down on someone and treat him or her less than the best, we take away that courage. When we hearten with our words, we build the courage they need to springboard then into the next area of their path that God has set for them.
Encouraging words don’t hurt, they honor and heal people. When you hurt with stinging words, those words can stay with a person for a long time until they finally deal with them, if they deal with them at all. Honoring people with your words, giving them both love and respect, can build the worth they need to feel. God can use you in this way by just a simple loving statement to someone who may need that encouraging word to heal them from a hurt or disappointment. You have to be intentional that way, it just doesn’t happen. When you are intentional, the Holy Spirit will give you the perfect words needed to honor and help.
Hurting words can be more of a spur of the moment regretful way to hurt someone; harm is even deeper and intentional. Harm takes planning; you set out purposely to hurt someone deeply. Helping words in contrast will also be intentional as all of these other encouraging words are intentional. Helping words build on the person, they make someone’s day.
Humiliating words can bring people down. Encouraging words heightens a person’s demeanor and helps them to see their worth. All of these word contrasts, point to the fact that you have to be intentional in the way you speak. An out of control tongue can be a person destroyer. As I have said some of us have to work hard at being encouraging, but we have the capacity to do that. How people view themselves is least important than how God views them. God views them with honor, He can heal them, He can help them, He heightens them, and He heartens them. God can do all of these things for us, but the biggest thing that makes a larger impact is our intentionality in how we frame our words to rock someone’s world.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.