ENCOURAGEMENT: BALM FOR THE SOUL By Tammy Glover

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  Hebrews 3:13

Why is it so hard to say a word of encouragement?  Why do we feel the need to fill a moment of silence with a negative account of someone’s life?  Why do we report a tragedy with excitement and glee but skeptically report a miracle?  Why is it easier to complain than to give praise?  Why is it easier to tear someone down, than to build them up?  “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.”  James 3:9-10

Unfortunately, I have been guilty of this .  As believers, we should be speaking words of life and not death on a consistent basis.  Words of encouragement aren’t just for the receiver but for the giver as well.  A word of encouragement,  truly is a balm for the soul.  It heals and soothes broken hearts and spirits. 

Try this experiment.  For at least three days, speak words of encouragement to yourself and others.  Limit the amount of negative news you expose yourself to–this includes entertainment news too.  Instead, seek out positive news stories.  Whenever you’re tempted to complain, praise God for whatever blessings you do have.  If you feel like criticizing someone or something, stop and ask yourself if it is coming from a place of self-righteousness, bitterness or low self-esteem.  Keep a little journal to document how you feel during the day.  Do you feel less anxious or stressed out?  Are you sleeping better?  Are you thinking clearer?  Are you feeling lighter?  You might be surprised by the results.  I wouldn’t suggest it if I hadn’t tried it myself.  After you’ve completed your three days, send me a comment to let me know how it went.  Your experience could also be a source of encouragement to someone else. 

Here are some scriptures to help you get through: 

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14

“The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.”  Isaiah 50:4

“But my mouth would encourage you: comfort from my lips would bring you relief.” Job 16:5

” A cheerful look brings joy to the heart and good news gives health to the bones.” Proverbs 15:30

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

 “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips.”  Psalm 141:3

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” Proverbs 21:23

“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much” Proverbs 20:19

“When words are many, sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

“Keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” Proverbs 4:24

“The lips of the righteous nourish many.”  Proverbs 10:21

“Gold there is, and rubies in abundance but lips that speak knowledge are rare jewels.”  Proverbs 10:19

Good luck and God bless!  I hope to hear from you soon.

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