Archive for November 5th, 2007

Each Word a Gift

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Ephesians 4:29 (NRSV) (The Message)
This verse challenges us to “build others up”. As you read, reflect and ask Who has been a strong source of encouragement to me?

My thoughts on this passage (Morgan Stewart):

I don’t know about you, but I can never get too much encouragement — especially when I’m going through a particularly difficult time or even crisis.

I well remember the friends who came to the aid of my bruised emotional and physical self during past surgeries and even the death of my parents. Just as critical were those who encouraged me when I was lonely after a difficult breakup and then frustrated at being passed over for a promotion at work I had long desired.

One of the best gifts God is always giving me is simple encouragement through others. What about starting today to be intentional about encouraging others? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write an encouraging letter. Especially in our high-tech world, a hand-written note of appreciation, affirmation or love is priceless.
  • Offer your supportive presence. I’m always amazed when folks thank me for all I did when they were in crisis. My recollection is that I was there, doing nothing. Don’t ever underestimate the gift of presence. Just being there says “I care.”
  • Compliment someone who’s growing in faith. A great joy of being in the Christian church is seeing someone’s faith grow. Don’t hesitate to tell someone you’ve noticed.
  • Be available and willing to listen. Every one can benefit from a listening ear or even a shoulder to cry on from a caring friend. Could that friend be you?
  • Be a cheerleader. It doesn’t have to be literal cheering — but maybe it could be.
  • Jump in and help someone complete a job. Many hands make light work, and often a new friend.
  • Stand up for a brother or sister, defend them when others disparage. Should someone else be tempted to gossip, why not respond with something positive? You’ll be glad you did!

Thought for the day: Life’s journey is difficult enough. May I be a source of true encouragement to others.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page as a place to start.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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