Someone offered some words of encouragement to me this past week ... twice in fact! Now you may think me desperate for blog material if I'm writing about something nice being said to me ... but stop and think about this with me for just a moment (and I promise it will be short).
When was the last time someone said something legitimately nice to you (as in, not flattery)?
When was the last time *YOU* said something encouraging to someone?
Solomon said "Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body." (Proverbs 16:24) The encouraging words I heard this past week were just that ... very tasty to my soul and I'm sure they lowered my blood pressure at least a couple of points! Your words are far more than just "hot air" ... they have the potential to affect the people around you at a much deeper level.
I remember wrestling with this concept when I was still homeschooling our children. It was so very easy to regularly point out where they had done wrong, or to make them aware of my frustration with them ... but I did not share encouraging words with them nearly enough. Solomon also said "When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness." (Proverbs 31:26) I'm fairly certain, if you were to ask my children, they would not report that I always gave instruction with kindness.
So please let me "encourage" you to begin practicing "giving instruction with kindness" right now ... over summer break ... before the stress of the school year begins once again. It might amaze you how attitudes change and motivation increases. I guarantee that you will also benefit from being a "honey giver".
Still on the journey ...