Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Thoughts ~ Seven years ago I was part of a small group of seven women who met once a month for 4 hours. We shared a meal, discussed one book in detail and supported one another in encouragement and prayer. One of the books we read was “Silver Boxes” by Florence Littauer. A book on the gift of encouragement, it challenged us to basically close our mouths if rude, hurtful or judgmental talk was going to erupt. It also challenged us to become encouragers to others. Lately, I have had to close my mouth in a big way. At first it was hard but each day, it became easier until God showed me how to deal with a particularly hurtful person.
We all have instant recall of the ways people hurt us but do we recall as quickly the wonderful ways we are encouraged? Silver boxes are, in a nutshell, a place to collect encouragement. Like a fire on a cold wintery day, a silver box boosts our spirits from chilly to warm instantly. Silver boxes are a place for you to put notes, cards and any written word that is given to you. Actually, I even have a tiny little heart token in mine; a reminder of a beautiful friendship.
Last month, I began a “Silver Box” file on my computer to save encouraging internet based notes from friends. It helps me when the enemy of God starts his arrow shooting practice on my heart. No matter how grounded we are in our faith, we will always be bombarded with junk that satan uses to tear us down. Forever on the attack mode, his second biggest thrill is to bring discouragement to believers. I long for the day he is locked up and banished forever!
How we all love to be encouraged. An unexpected sweet word from a friend, or even a stranger, can bring joy to your heart in such an amazing way. Likewise, mean words can damage us, ripping away little pieces of self esteem, confidence and love. As Paul encourages us in Ephesians 4:29, let’s practice building up instead of tearing down. The New Living Translation says “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
· *Find a silver box for your cards, notes and gifts of encouragement from others.
· *Start a file on your computer where you copy and paste encouraging words.
· *Be an encourager! With honesty and not out of any falsehood, find words to encourage the people in your life.
· *Buy Florence Littauer’s book. It’s easy to read and will open your mind to lots of new ideas.
· *Memorize Ephesians 4:29 in the version you like best. (www.Biblegateway.com will give you many versions).
· *Make a list of people that you know really need encouragement. And then offer it to them!
· *Send your Pastor an encouraging note in the mail.
Pray ~ Father, I confess my mouth is not always good and helpful. Thank You for forgiving me. And thank You for the people who have come into my life to encourage me. May I learn from them and encourage those around me all the days of my life.
Trusting in Him,