The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. Isaiah 50:4
I began to think about how often I communicate with people throughout my day. How often I have the opportunity to "speak a word in season". The phone, snailmail, email, at home, at church, texting, in the store, on my blog, on this blog, through facebook...you might add twitter, a job or any number of other opportunities. How many words, whether spoken or written, are uttered each and every day!
If our words could be weighed in the balance, what would they show? If we could put encouraging, helpful words on one side and negative words on the other side, which would win out? More than anything, I want my words to be encouraging to the hearer. I want them to filled with joy, help, encouragement. The verse in Isaiah indicates that such ability doesn't come naturally. I see three distinct steps.
First, the ability to encourage the weary with our words has to come from the Lord. (2 Peter 1:3). Second, it is a learning process. The book of James tells us to ask the Lord for wisdom and he will give it. (James 1:5). Lastly, I see that in order to be a good encourager, we must first be a good listener! (James 1:19)
The book of Job gives us a perfect example of the type of "encourager" that we shouldn't be! Job's friend Elihu tried to help him, but after his lengthy discourse, the Lord says: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Job 38:2 Counsel, without godly wisdom, is vain.
On the other hand, a word spoken in due season is joyous to the hearer! (Proverbs 15:23)
The Bible tells us that God IS love and in 1 Cor 13 we are told that no matter how eloquent of speech we are, if we do not have charity (love), it is meaningless. With that in mind, I began to ponder how Jesus himself spoke. What did He have to say about our words? Jesus spoke:
- gracious words (Luke 4:22): The word 'gracious' means kind or friendly. How often do we have the opportunity to speak graciously? Maybe to that check-out clerk who is weary - even after we've waited in line for 15 minutes and are feeling anything but gracious!
- amazing words (Luke 4:36): How many times have you sat in church and the Preacher read a verse that just spoke to your heart? Or maybe like me, you've read something and just gasped audibly at how pertinent it was to a situation in life. God's Word is truly amazing.
- mighty words (Luke 24:19): God's Word is mighty and able to bring sinners out of an eternity in hell and into the promise of Heaven. You and I do not have such power within our own words. We NEED the wisdom of Almight God!
- life giving words (John 6:63): Jesus didn't tear people down with His words.
- words of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19): This verse tells us that God has committed to US the words of reconciliation! Is there are relationship that needs mending? Whether you are the offending party or not, God has give to you the words to reconcile! I recently had this happen in my own life. I had waited for a certain person to apologize for years. The more they were not sorry, the angrier I got. How silly is that? The Lord impressed upon me to try to make things right, even though I wasn't in the wrong. You know what? I never did get an apology but the Lord gave me something better - freedom from my anger and bitterness. What a blessing.
- comforting words (1 Thess. 4:18): It is often so hard to comfort someone who is grieving. If you're like me, you just don't know what to say. The Bible tells us one way and that is to remind the person of the second coming. There is a brighter day coming.
- faithful words (1 Tim 4:6; Titus 1:9): The Word of God is faithful and true. Study it, memorize it and use it! Our words can offer little in the way of encouragement but God's Word is FULL of refreshment for the soul!
- exhorting words (Heb 3:13, 10:25): We need to exhort one another daily! I don't know about you but I need to hear words of encouragement that prod me towards a closer walk with the Lord. Having a blog is a wonderful opportunity to do this but so is face to face contact with fellow sister in the Lord. How about our children? Don't forget, they need more than nagging and discipline. They need to be exhorted as well. We should be exhorting people to "cleave unto the Lord" (Acts 11:23).
© Adorning Grace 2010