With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. – James 3:9-12

Encouragement literally means to give heart to people. It comes from the French word “coeur” as heart. Encouraging somebody means to give them courage, to give them heart, to give them their soul back. How many of us feel as though our soul or our heart has been damaged, wounded, weakened because of a stressful week? A week in which somebody was critical to us. A week in which maybe somebody you love broke up with you, or maybe you’re going through a trial in your family or you just lost a dear friend, or something else.

It’s so easy in life to lose heart and encouragement is the thing that gives us our heart back. And when we talk about encouragement, we’re usually thinking in terms of words. Often, words that are said to us. Your words are changing people’s lives. So today, I want to encourage you to keep using those words to give heart to people who need it. To lift, to heal, to give wisdom, to give truth, we need powerful life-giving positive words in our world.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to take control of my words and to encourage others. Use me to positively change the lives of those around me. Amen.

REFLECTION: How can I offer encouragement to those around me today?

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