Monday, January 10, 2005

More on Word Power

On the flip side of Friday’s post about the negative power of words, we need to consider the great potential our words have for good. A brief exchange years ago brought this to life for me. Our son, barely out of diapers, had done something - I don’t even remember what – something noteworthy. And I praised him for it. I’ll never forget how he looked up at me and matter-of-factly explained, “I’m a quick learner.”

I was astonished. Toddlers don’t naturally think that way. He was simply parroting back to me something he had been told and which had obviously taken root in his brain. And what a great thing for a child to believe about himself at a time when everything in his world is new. Every day at that age is filled with learning experiences.

I wish all of you were growing up in affirming homes. Many are not. If you’re American, you are certainly growing up in a culture that hammers you with negative messages – ideas that are in direct conflict with what the Bible says. Here you are on the cusp of manhood and womanhood. What will you believe about yourself to help you cope with a challenging time of life? What words of encouragement and confidence can you speak to a friend today? Your kind words and sincere compliments could make a big difference in someone's day, maybe in someone's life.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up ....”
I Thessalonians 5:11