A few years ago, I was having a really hard time after another cross-country move. I’m a people person and the insanity inducing loneliness of not knowing a single person where we now lived hit me hard.
One day, as I was dropping my kids off at AWANA at our new church, a woman, whom I didn’t know, stopped me and said, “I think you are really brave. I see you here with all your kids week after week by yourself, and I just think you are really brave.”
She promptly turned and walked off.
I stood there stunned and then I just started to cry. Her kind words were overwhelming.
The book of Proverbs has much to say about our words. It tells us that a gentle answer turns away wrath (15:1) and that the lips of a wise person spread knowledge (15:7). It tells us that, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit” (15:4) and that “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (16:24)
There are many opportunities for us to keep our lips zipped, but there are also many chances for us to say a kind word that may just change everything for another person. If there is a compliment to give- let’s give it! If we can encourage someone, by all means, let’s encourage.
After all, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply- and how good a timely word!” (15:23)